Current Recruiting

The Sibling Mindfulness Project

What is the project about?

Young people with siblings who have cancer frequently report unmet needs associated with the cancer diagnosis and are more likely to have high levels of psychological distress.  This study explores whether mindfulness as a therapy (delivered by a smartphone app) can be helpful for siblings of cancer patients and whether family relationship styles affect how well mindfulness works as a therapy.

  • Mindfulness is the ability to pay attention to the present moment, using your whole mind, in a non-judgmental way.
  • It can be practiced in lots of ways, from meditation to activities which focus your attention on what you are doing in the here and now.
  •  It has been shown to be helpful in helping people process difficult thoughts and feelings, as well as promote calmness and help people connect more with what they really value in life.
  • You are eligible to participate if you are between 15 and 25 years old, live in Australia or the UK and have a sibling either being treated for cancer or who have had treatment in the past five years.
  • We provide participants with a copy of the ACT Companion, a mindfulness app, with a schedule of mindfulness activities to complete over 8 weeks.
  • Participants complete questionnaires before, after the intervention and at 2-month follow-up, asking questions about general demographics, how they have been feeling, whether they ever practice mindfulness and how well they get along with their family.
  • Having a brother or sister diagnosed with cancer can impact adolescents and young adults (AYAs) in complex ways.
  • The distress a sibling may experience can be further affected by how well they get along with their parents and family, which can have implications as to how well they adjust to the cancer diagnosis.
  • Conducting this research will help us understand more about the effects a sibling’s cancer can have on a young person, as well as what works to help them during this difficult time.
  • This information will be helpful in understanding in a broader sense, how online and smart-phone delivered programs can be used to help young people living with cancer.
  • This study is being conducted as a collaborative venture by Canteen, The University of Sydney, The University of North Texas and Cook Children’s Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas.
  • We are grateful for the support of CLIC Sargent, who are assisting with the promotion of the project in the UK.
  • This study has been approved by the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (2016/201). Any person with concerns or complaints about the conduct of this study should contact the ethics officer on (02 9036 9161).


If you are interested in participating, you can:

  • email us at
  • call us on 1800 234 007
  • Speak to your local Canteen staff member
  • Fill out this online form. Leave your details and a member of our team will call to talk with you more about the project.


Create your own user feedback survey

If you'd like to know more about this project, call the research team on 1800 234 007 or email