, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 521–533 | Cite as

Mindfulness and Cancer Patients’ Emotional States: a Latent Profile Analysis Among Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patients

  • Kevin F. Y. Lam
  • Haikel A. Lim
  • Ee Heok Kua
  • Konstadina Griva
  • Rathi Mahendran


Variable-centred approaches indicate that mindfulness might protect against psychological distress. Person-centred approaches, such as latent profile analysis (LPA), provide researchers with additional tools to identify profiles of mindfulness based on individuals’ patterns of response to each facet of the construct. Recent studies using LPA in non-cancer populations suggest that individuals demonstrate one of four profiles of mindfulness: low mindfulness, judgmentally observing, non-judgmentally aware, or high mindfulness. However, it is not known whether such profiles hold true in cancer or Asian populations. The present cross-sectional study therefore sought to identify profiles of mindfulness in a cohort of newly diagnosed cancer patients in Asia, and examined their associations with sociodemographic and medical variables, and depressive and anxious symptoms. A total of 212 patients (M age = 49.26, SD = 9.30 years; 68% female; 60% Chinese) completed the short form of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. In line with previous research, four profiles of mindfulness were identified using LPA: low mindfulness (51%), judgmentally observing (24%), non-judgmentally aware (7%), and high mindfulness (18%). As compared to the high mindfulness profile, the non-judgmentally aware profile was associated with male gender and lower education; both the low mindfulness and the judgmentally observing profiles were associated with higher levels of depressive and anxious symptoms. A majority of patients demonstrated profiles characterised by globally low levels of mindfulness and which were associated with higher levels of emotional distress. A consideration of these profiles might allow clinicians to provide more targeted interventions to cancer patients.


Mindfulness Depression Anxiety Cancer Latent profile analysis Bolck-Croon-Hagenaars approach 



The authors would like to thank the study team members and healthcare professionals who have assisted in all aspects of the present study.

Funding Information

The HOPE Study, from which this study is based on, was funded by the National University of Singapore Start-Up Grant (R-177-000-039-133 and R-177-000-039-733).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin F. Y. Lam
    • 1
  • Haikel A. Lim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ee Heok Kua
    • 1
    • 3
  • Konstadina Griva
    • 4
  • Rathi Mahendran
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychological MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Duke-NUS Medical SchoolSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Department of Psychological MedicineNational University HospitalSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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