Tuesday, November 6, 2018


A brief session of guided mindfulness-based meditation may help women undergoing a stereotactic breast biopsy to feel less anxious, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Large-core needle stereotactic breast biopsy, sometimes just called ‘core biopsy,’ is used to sample tissue deep within the breast and is done with only local anesthesia. High distress before and during the procedure is uncomfortable for patients and can contribute to appointment cancellations, incomplete procedures, complications, and longer procedure times, the study authors write.

‘A stereotactic breast biopsy is a procedure that has a high frequency and is really stressful,’ said lead author Dr Chelsea Ratcliff, an assistant professor of psychology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. The study, albeit a small one, suggests that short-term mindfulness meditation can be effective in such a setting. However, Dr Ratcliff has said that the study needs to be replicated and expanded.

Journal reference: Ratcliff, C G et al.A Randomized Controlled Trial of Brief Mindfulness Meditation for Women Undergoing Stereotactic Breast Biopsy.’ Journal of the American College of Radiology, online October 12, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacr.2018.09.009.

Photo credit: Presence St Mary's Hospital.