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
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.