Therapy

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Medicine

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Medicine

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction has been consistently documented as highly effective in teaching participants to become more responsible in the management of their own health, vitality and healing. Two decades of published research (see “References” below) indicates that the majority of people who complete the MBSR Program report lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms.  The studies report:

  • Dramatic reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • Dramatic decreases of anxiety, depression, hostility and the tendency to somatize
  • More effective skills in managing stress
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • Improved self-esteem
  • An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Medicine

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction has been consistently documented as highly effective in teaching participants to become more responsible in the management of their own health, vitality and healing. Two decades of published research (see “References” below) indicates that the majority of people who complete the MBSR Program report lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms.  The studies report:

  • Dramatic reductions in pain levels and an enhanced ability to cope with pain that may not go away
  • Dramatic decreases of anxiety, depression, hostility and the tendency to somatize
  • More effective skills in managing stress
  • An increased ability to relax
  • Greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • Improved self-esteem
  • An ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations

The research supporting these results is extensive and ongoing at numerous universities, medical schools and private sector research groups.  In the interest of brevity, research on Chronic Pain, Anxiety and Depression conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMASS) will be highlighted in addition to the Brain and Immune Functioning Studies recently published and currently being investigated.

In the pain studies, people with chronic pain such as headaches, back pain, neck pain and fibromyalgia who participated in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic reported a dramatic reduction in the average level of pain during the eight-week training period and for at least four years following the treatment.

Mindful Living
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Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment

outcomes and role of home meditation practice.

Rosenzweig S, Greeson JM, Reibel DK, Green JS, Jasser SA, Beasley D.

Office of Educational Affairs, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study compared changes in bodily pain, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and psychological symptoms during an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program among groups of participants with different chronic pain conditions. METHODS: From 1997-2003, a longitudinal investigation of chronic pain patients (n=133) was nested within a larger prospective cohort study of heterogeneous patients participating in MBSR at a university-based Integrative Medicine center. Measures included the Short-Form 36 Health Survey and Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. Paired t tests were used to compare pre-post changes on outcome measures. Differences in treatment effect sizes were compared as a function of chronic pain condition. Correlations were examined between outcome parameters and home meditation practice.

RESULTS: Outcomes differed in significance and magnitude across common chronic pain conditions. Diagnostic subgroups of patients with arthritis, back/neck pain, or two or more comorbid pain conditions demonstrated a significant change in pain intensity and functional limitations due to pain following MBSR. Participants with arthritis showed the largest treatment effects for HRQoL and psychological distress. Patients with chronic headache/migraine experienced the smallest improvement in pain and HRQoL. Patients with fibromyalgia had the smallest improvement in psychological distress. Greater home meditation practice was associated with improvement on several outcome measures, including overall psychological distress, somatization symptoms, and self-rated health, but not pain and other quality of life scales. CONCLUSION: MBSR treatment effects on pain, HRQoL and psychological well-being vary as a function of chronic pain condition and compliance with home meditation practice.

PMID: 20004298 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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MBSR and fibromyalgia

Posted By Bodhipaksa On June 1, 2007 @ 7:50 am In blogs | No Comments

Kenneth H. Kaplan, M.D, Don L. Goldenberg, M.D., and Maureen Galvin-Nadeau, M.S., C.S., The Impact of a Meditation-Based Stress Reduction Program on Fibromyalgia. General Hospital Psychiatry 15, 284-289, 1993.

Abstract:

Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and resistance to treatment.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia. Seventy-seven patients meeting the 1990 criteria of the American College of Rheumatology for fibromyalgia took part in a 10-week group outpatient program. Therapists followed a carefully defined treatment approach and met weekly to further promote uniformity.

Patients were evaluated before and after the program. Initial evaluation included a psychiatric structured clinical interview (SCID). Outcome measures included visual analog scales to measure global well being, pain, sleep, fatigue, and feeling refreshed in the morning. Patients also completed a medical symptom checklist, SCL-90-R, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, and the Fibromyalgia Attitude Index. Although the mean scores of all the patients completing the program showed improvement, 51% showed moderate to marked improvement and only they were counted as “responders”.

These preliminary findings suggest that a meditation-based stress reduction program is effective for patients with fibromyalgia.

 


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