Meditation as an Intervention for Chronic Pain

Hightstown Medical Associates, East Windsor, NJ 08520, USA.
Holistic nursing practice (Impact Factor: 0.62). 07/2008; 22(4):225-34. DOI: 10.1097/01.HNP.0000326006.65310.a7
Source: PubMed


Chronic pain is a complex phenomenon that causes a significant disruption in the lives of those affected. Chronic pain is difficult to treat and challenges healthcare professionals' abilities to implement effective treatments. Therefore, chronic pain sufferers often seek complementary alternative medicine therapies such as meditation. Literature reviews have examined studies using mindfulness-based stress reduction program as an intervention for a variety of health problems. However, no reviews exist looking at a specific patient population's utilization of meditation-based programs. Therefore, the purpose of this integrative review is to examine studies that have investigated meditation as an intervention for chronic pain, identify gaps in the literature, and make recommendations for further research.

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    • "As catastrophizing is arguably the strongest psychological predictor of long-term pain and disability in chronic pain due to its relationship to fear and avoidance (Picavet, 2002; Sullivan et al., 2004; Severeijns et al., 2005; Leeuw et al., 2007), mindfulness training could also be an effective way to deliver the benefits intended in traditional psychological pain management approaches. Mindfulness is associated with reduced pain catastrophizing (Gardner-Nix et al., 2008; Schütze et al., 2010) and there is mounting evidence that mindfulness interventions are themselves effective in easing the burden of chronic pain (Teixeira, 2008; Chiesa and Serretti, 2011; Brown, 2013). With this in mind, the present pilot study developed and tested an integrated Mindfulness-Based Functional Therapy (MBFT) intervention, which combined mindfulness meditation, physiotherapy movement retraining, and psycho-education in an 8-week group program. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: This pilot study investigated the feasibility and clinical utility of implementing a novel, evidence-informed, interdisciplinary group intervention—Mindfulness Based Functional Therapy (MBFT)—for the management of persistent low back pain (LBP) in primary care. MBFT aimed to improve physical and psychological functioning in patients with persistent LBP. Design: A single-group repeated measures design was utilized to gather data about feasibility, effect sizes, clinically significant changes and patient satisfaction. Setting: A community sample of 16 adults (75% female), mean (SD) age 47.00 (9.12) years (range 26–65 years), with mean (SD) LBP duration of 8.00 (9.00) years participated, using a simulated primary care setting at Curtin University in Australia. Intervention: MBFT is an 8-week group intervention co-facilitated by psychology and physiotherapy disciplines. Content includes: mindfulness meditation training, cognitive-functional physiotherapeutic movement retraining, pain education, and group support. Main outcome measures: Several validated self-report measures were used to assess functional disability, emotional functioning, mindfulness, pain catastrophizing, health-related quality of life at baseline, post-intervention, and 6 months follow-up. Results: Adherence and satisfaction was high, with 85% of participants highly satisfied with MBFT. Clinical significance analysis and effect size estimates showed improvements in a number of variables, including pain catastrophizing, physical functioning, role limitations due to physical condition, and depression, although these may have occurred due to non-intervention effects. Conclusions: MBFT is feasible to implement in primary care. Preliminary findings suggest that a randomized controlled trial is warranted to investigate its efficacy in improving physical and emotional functioning in people with disabling persistent LBP.
    Frontiers in Psychology 08/2014; 5:839. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00839 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "While research on the effects of mindfulness training and meditation has traditionally been limited by methodological weaknesses to date, findings regarding the potential for mindfulness interventions to reduce various problematic conditions, such as pain, stress, anxiety, depression (relapse), and disordered eating, are promising.14,21,29,49,59,64,82,125 The most recent data has demonstrated the beneficial effects on physical and psychological health and well-being.8,51,59,82 "
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments have increased in popularity. This is especially true for treatments that are related to exercise and mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in the treatment of both mental and physical illness. MBIs, such as Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which are derived from ancient Buddhist and Yoga philosophies, have become popular treatments in contemporary psychotherapy. While there is growing evidence that supports the role of these interventions in relapse prevention, little is known about the role that MBIs play in the treatment of acute symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even less is known about the importance of specific components of MBIs (eg, mindfulness meditation [MM]) and the overall impact that these interventions have on the experience or expression of psychological distress. Moreover, few studies have rigorously evaluated the dose-response relationship that is required to effect positive symptom change and the mechanisms of change that are responsible for observed improvements. This review will define meditation and mindfulness, discuss the relationship between stress and health and how MM relates to therapeutically engaging the relaxation response, and review the empirical findings that are related to the efficacy of MM in the treatment of depression and anxiety symptoms. Given the paucity of research that examines the applications of these treatments in clinical populations, the limitations of applying these findings to clinical samples will be mentioned. A brief review of the issues related to the possible mechanisms of change and the dose-response relationship regarding MBIs, particularly MM, will be provided. Finally, limitations of the extant literature and future directions for further exploration of this topic will be offered.
    Psychology Research and Behavior Management 11/2012; 5:131-41. DOI:10.2147/PRBM.S34937
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    • "Thirty years ago, Kabat-Zinn (1982) started a series of clinical studies on the effects of mindfulness in relieving pain and related symptoms in chronic pain patients. These studies were considered in several reviews (Baer 2003; Bohlmeijer et al. 2010; Chiesa and Serretti 2011; Grossman et al. 2004; Hofmann et al. 2010; Ost 2008; Teixera 2008; Veehof et al. 2011). Their results, with effect sizes comparable to those of cognitive-behavioral therapy (Eccleston et al. 2009), suggest that mindfulness has a potential impact on the treatment of chronic pain. "
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    ABSTRACT: Theoretical models define the mechanism of change underlying mindfulness as an uncoupling of unpleasant stimuli (e.g., thoughts, feelings, and body sensations) and subsequent reactions which can be described as decentering, deautomatization, or detachment from contents of consciousness. Mindfulness has strong implications in the prevention and treatment of chronic pain considering current psychological models which highlight the role of dysfunctional reactions to pain or related stimuli like anxiety, catastrophizing, or avoidance. Existing studies cover only some of these aspects. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of a multimodal assessment approach to examine the influence of trait mindfulness on the affective reactivity to pain and components of pain perception. Thereby, we covered cognitive, affective, physiological, motivational, and behavioral components as indicators of pain reactivity. Twenty-four healthy students participated in this laboratory study examining the reactions to experimentally induced pain. Results indicate that the multimodal method realized seems to be a promising approach to allow for differentiated conclusions about relations between mindfulness and different process and outcome variables in the treatment of pain. Improvements of the methodical approach and future research directions based on the findings are discussed.
    Mindfulness 09/2012; 3(3). DOI:10.1007/s12671-012-0113-6
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