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.

    • "Yoga and mindfulness techniques are increasingly being used as tools to reduce stress and enhance wellness in various populations with different health concerns (Balasubramaniam et al. 2013; McCall et al. 2013; Serwacki and Cook-Cottone 2012). Studies document the effectiveness of yoga and mindfulness in reducing psychiatric symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety) and improving attention and concentration (Matchim and Armer 2007; Teixeira 2008; Uebelacker et al. 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The purpose of this study was to conduct a pilot randomized control trial to test whether a mindful yoga intervention had a beneficial impact on substance use and its psychological and psychophysiological correlates in high-risk adolescents. Research on yoga has generated growing evidence for its positive effects on physical and emotional health. However, most studies are conducted with adults, with few controlled studies conducted with youth. We designed a 20-session mindful yoga intervention for adolescents attending a school for students at high-risk for dropping out. The 50-min classes were offered three times a week. The participants (mean age = 16.7 years) were randomly assigned to control and intervention groups.Multi-rater (student, teacher), multi-method (survey, cognitive, psychophysiological) data were collected before and after the yoga curriculum. At post-test, students in the yoga condition, as compared to control students, exhibited trends toward decreased alcohol use and improved teacher-rated social skills (p\.10); and showed a non-significant increase in arousal in response to relevant stimuli as measured in skin conductance. Significant effects were not found on hypothesized proximal measures of self-regulation, mood, mindfulness, or involuntary engagement coping. Future research is needed to replicate and expand upon our findings. Studies are also needed with larger samples to further investigate potential mediators and moderators of yoga’s effects.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Child and Family Studies
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Frontiers in Psychology
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Psychology Research and Behavior Management
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