Inquiry-based stress reduction (IBSR) meditation technique for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers—A qualitative study

Carla Landau, Inbal Mitnik, Jiska Cohen-Mansfield, Efrat Tillinger, Eitan Friedman, Shahar Lev-Ari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction BRCA1/2 mutation carriers deal with a substantially elevated risk for developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. This state has profound implications on various psychosocial aspects in carriers’ lives. The aim of the current study was to qualitatively evaluate the effect of an Inquiry-Based Stress Reduction (IBSR) meditation technique on BRCA1/2 carriers. Methods Fifteen BRCA1/2 carriers completed a 12-week IBSR intervention, a meditation technique, which aims to identify and investigate stressful thoughts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted before and after the intervention. The interviews were analyzed using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis method. Results The data analysis revealed that IBSR technique positively affected three important and central dimensions in women's lives- their inner-emotional world, their experience as a BRCA carrier and their interpersonal interactions. These dimensions were found to be related to psychological well-being, a factor with important physical and mental health implications. Conclusions This qualitative study demonstrated that the implementation of IBSR meditation technique among BRCA carriers has a positive effect on emotional and interpersonal dimensions. Future studies are warranted to devise the means for clinical implementation of IBSR as adjunct to traditional genetic counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-964
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • BRCA1/2 mutation carriers
  • Cancer
  • IBSR meditation
  • Psychological well-being
  • Qualitative study
  • “The Work”


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