Article

Feasibility and effectiveness of a brief meditation-based stress management intervention for patients diagnosed with or at risk for coronary heart disease: A pilot study

Columbia Integrative Medicine Program, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.
Psychology Health and Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.26). 10/2009; 14(5):513-23. DOI: 10.1080/13548500902890087
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Extensive research has led to the development of a psychobiological model of cardiovascular disease. This model suggests that psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, hostility, and stress may affect the development and progression of coronary heart disease (CHD). Recent studies have also demonstrated that meditation-based stress reduction programs are useful interventions for patients with various medical and psychological symptoms. The objective of this pilot study was to gather preliminary information regarding the feasibility of implementing a brief meditation-based stress management (MBSM) program for patients with CHD, and those at high risk for CHD, at a major metropolitan hospital that serves a predominately non-local patient population. The secondary aim of this study was to investigate the possibility that such an intervention might reduce depression, as well as perceived stress, anxiety, and hostility, while improving general health scores. The overall feasibility results indicate that this MBSM intervention was highly feasible with regard to both recruitment and retention of participants. In fact, 40% of patients requested further training. In addition, after completion of the 4-week intervention, participants reported significant reductions in depression and perceived stress. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the brief meditation-based stress management program was well-received by patients and can successfully be used as a supportive program for patients at risk or diagnosed with CHD.

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    • "In addition to pre-post studies showing improvements on a range of psychological outcomes in people with heart disease [82–84], two very small RCTs comparing MBSR to waitlist control groups were reported by Tacón and colleagues [85, 86], who reported benefits in anxiety, emotional regulation and less use of reactive coping styles in MBSR participants, as well as slower breathing frequency post-interventions in a laboratory stress test. In another study, 19 very ill elderly patients with congestive heart failure were randomized to a meditation group which participated in weekly sessions and listened to a meditation tape at home for 30 minutes, twice daily, for 12 weeks, or a control group that only attended weekly meetings [87]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) for treating symptoms of a wide range of medical conditions has proliferated in recent decades. Mindfulness is the cultivation of nonjudgmental awareness in the present moment. It is both a practice and a way of being in the world. Mindfulness is purposefully cultivated in a range of structured interventions, the most popular of which is mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), followed by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). This paper begins with a discussion of the phenomenological experience of coping with a chronic and potentially life-threatening illness, followed by a theoretical discussion of the application of mindfulness in these situations. The literature evaluating MBIs within medical conditions is then comprehensively reviewed, applying a levels of evidence rating framework within each major condition. The bulk of the research looked at diagnoses of cancer, pain conditions (chronic pain, low back pain, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis), cardiovascular disease, diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and irritable bowel syndrome. Most outcomes assessed are psychological in nature and show substantial benefit, although some physical and disease-related parameters have also been evaluated. The field would benefit from more adequately powered randomized controlled trials utilizing active comparison groups and assessing the moderating role of patient characteristics and program "dose" in determining outcomes.
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    • "This has reduced the barriers commonly mentioned for non-participation in MBSR programs. Similar modifications to weekly/daily mindfulness programs based on MBSR have emerged, for example shortened programs for oncology patients (Ott et al., 2006) and those who are at risk or have cardiovascular disease (Olivo et al., 2009 ). In our trial we studied university faculty and staff who were found to have an elevated CRP level, >3.0 mg/ml, and who either had or were at risk for cardiovascular disease. "
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a low dose Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBI-ld) that reduces the time committed to meetings and formal mindfulness practice, while conducting the sessions during the workday. This reduced the barriers commonly mentioned for non-participation in mindfulness programs. In a controlled randomized trial we studied university faculty and staff (n=186) who were found to have an elevated CRP level,>3.0mg/ml, and who either had, or were at risk for cardiovascular disease. This study was designed to evaluate if MBI-ld could produce a greater decrease in CRP, IL-6 and cortisol than an active control group receiving a lifestyle education program when measured at the end of the 2month interventions. We found that MBI-ld significantly enhanced mindfulness by 2-months and it was maintained for up to a year when compared to the education control. No significant changes were noted between interventions in cortisol, IL-6 levels or self-reported measures of perceived stress, depression and sleep quality at 2-months. Although not statistically significant (p=.08), the CRP level at 2-months was one mg/ml lower in the MBI-ld group than in the education control group, a change which may have clinical significance (Ridker et al., 2000; Wassel et al., 2010). A larger MBI-ld effect on CRP (as compared to control) occurred among participants who had a baseline BMI <30 (-2.67mg/ml) than for those with BMI >30 (-0.18mg/ml). We conclude that MBI-ld should be more fully investigated as a low-cost self-directed complementary strategy for decreasing inflammation, and it seems most promising for non-obese subjects.
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    ABSTRACT: Emotional support and a stress management program should be simultaneously provided to clients as effective preventive services for healthy behavioral change. This study was conducted to review various relaxation and meditation intervention methods and their applicability for a preventive service program. The author of this paper tried to find various relaxation and meditation programs through a literature review and program searching and to introduce them. The 'Relaxation Response' and 'Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)' are the most the widely used meditative programs in mainstream medical systems. Abdominal breathing, Progressive Musclular Relaxation (PMR), Relaxative Imagery, Autogenic Training (AT) and Biofeedback are other well-known techniques for relaxation and stress management. I have developed and implemented some programs using these methods. Relaxation and meditation classes for cancer patients and a meditation based stress coping workshop are examples of this program. Relaxation and meditation seem to be good and effective methods for primary, secondary and tertiary preventive service programs. Program development and standardization and further study are needed for more and wider use of the mind-body approach in the preventive service area of medicine.
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