Mind Body Medicine





Psychosom Med. 2003 Jul-Aug; 65(4):571-81

Quality of life, mood, symptoms of stress, and immune parameters in breast and prostate cancer outpatients.

Significant improvements were seen in overall quality of life, symptoms of stress, and sleep quality. Although there were no significant changes in the overall number of lymphocytes or cell subsets, T cell production of IL-4 increased and IFN-gamma decreased, whereas NK cell production of IL-10 decreased. These results are consistent with a shift in immune profile from one associated with depressive symptoms to a more normal profile

MBSR participation was associated with enhanced quality of life and decreased stress symptoms in breast and prostate cancer patients. Changes in cancer-related cytokine production associated with program participation.

Psychosom Med. 2003 Jul-Aug; 65(4):564-70

Alterations in brain and immune function.

Significant increases in left-sided anterior activation, a pattern previously associated with positive affect, in the meditators compared with the nonmeditators.
We also found significant increases in antibody titers to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation compared with those in the wait-list control group. Finally, the magnitude of increase in left-sided activation predicted the magnitude of antibody titer rise to the vaccine.

A short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways and underscore the need for additional research.

Fam Community Health. 2003 Jan-Mar; 26(1):25-33.

Anxiety reduction and heart disease.

Anxiety, emotional control, coping styles, and health locus of control were compared in a treatment and control group of women with heart disease.

Post-intervention analyses provide initial support for beneficial effects of this program.

Disabil Rehabil. 2003; 25(13):722-31

Improve quality of life among individuals who sustained traumatic brain injuries

The treatment group mean quality of life (SF-36) improved by 15.40 (SD = 9.08) compared to - 1.67 (SD = 16.65; p = 0.036) for controls. Improvements on the cognitive-affective domain of the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) were reported (p = 0.029), while changes in the overall BDI-II (p = 0.059) and the Positive Symptom Distress Inventory of the SCL-90R (p = 0.054) approached statistical significance

The intervention was simple, and improved quality of life after other treatment avenues for these participants were exhausted.

J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Dec; 8(6):719-30; discussion 731-5

Does mindfulness meditation contribute to health?

Twenty-one (21) participants with chronic physical, psychologic, or psychosomatic illnesses were examined in a longitudinal pretest and post-treatment design with a 3-month follow-up.

Overall, the interventions led to high levels of adherence to the meditation practice and satisfaction with the benefits of the course, as well as effective and lasting reductions of symptoms (especially in psychologic distress, well-being, and quality of life). Changes were of moderate-to-large effect sizes. Positive complementary effects with psychotherapy were also found.

These findings warrant controlled studies to evaluate the efficacy and cost effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction as an intervention for chronic physical and psychosomatic disorders in Germany

Chang Gung Med J. 2002 Aug; 25(8):538-41

Mindfulness meditation in the control of severe headache

We report on the case of a man who was prone to developing severe headaches due to activities requiring extreme concentration. He learned to control his pain and discomfort through mindfulness meditation, although this practice in fact induced headaches initially

It is suggested that training in MM may be a medically superior and cost-effective alternative to pain medication for the control of headaches with no underlying organic causes in highly motivated patients

Psychosom Med. 2002 Jan-Feb; 64(1):71-83

What do we really know about mindfulness-based stress reduction?

There has been a paucity of research and what has been published has been rife with methodological problems. At present, we know very little about the effectiveness of this approach. However, there is some evidence that suggests that it may hold some promise.

The available evidence does not support a strong endorsement of this approach at present. However, serious investigation is warranted and strongly recommended

Altern Ther Health Med. 2002 Jan-Feb; 8(1):60-2, 64-6

Inner-city patients' healthcare utilization before and after an MBSR intervention.

A significant decrease in the number of chronic care visits was found among the 47 patients for whom complete data were available. The 36 patients who completed the Spanish courses demonstrated a significant decrease in total medical visits and chronic care visits

The results of this study suggest that MBSR may help contain healthcare costs by decreasing the number of visits made by inner-city patients to their primary care providers after completing the MBSR program

Br J Med Psychol. 2001 Jun; 74 Part 2:197-212

A qualitative study of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression

The theory suggested that the preconceptions and expectations of therapy are important influences on later experiences of MBCT. Important areas of therapeutic change ('coming to terms') were identified, including the development of mindfulness skills, an attitude of acceptance and 'living in the moment'.

The development of mindfulness skills was seen to hold a key role in the development of change. Generalization of these skills to everyday life was seen as important, and several ways in which this happened, including the use of breathing spaces, were discussed. In addition, several of the concepts and categories offered support to cognitive accounts of mood disorder and the role of MBCT in reducing relapse.

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2001 Jul-Aug; 23(4):183-92

Health-related quality of life in a heterogeneous patient population.

Health-related quality of life was enhanced as demonstrated by improvement on all indices of the SF-36, including vitality, bodily pain, role limitations caused by physical health, and social functioning (all P<.01). Alleviation of physical symptoms was revealed by a 28% reduction on the MSCL (P<.0001). Decreased psychological distress was indicated on the SCL-90-R by a 38% reduction on the Global Severity Index, a 44% reduction on the anxiety subscale, and a 34% reduction on the depression subscale (all P<.0001). One-year follow-up revealed maintenance of initial improvements on several outcome parameters.

Mindfulness meditation training program can enhance functional status and well-being and reduce physical symptoms and psychological distress in a heterogeneous patient population and that the intervention may have long-term beneficial effects.

Am J Health Promot. 2001 Jul-Aug; 15(6):422-32

Evaluation of a Wellness-Based Mindfulness Stress Reduction intervention: a controlled trial.

Intervention subjects reported significant decreases from baseline in effect of daily hassles (24%), psychological distress, (44%), and medical symptoms (46%) that were maintained at the 3-month follow-up compared to control subjects (repeated measures analysis of variance [ANOVA]; p < .05).

Self-selected community residents can improve their mental and physical health by participating in a stress reduction intervention offered by a university wellness program.

Br J Med Psychol. 2001 Jun; 74(Pt 2):197-212

A qualitative study of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression.


Support Care Cancer. 2001 Mar; 9(2):112-23

The effects of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients: 6-month follow-up.

Patients' scores decreased significantly from before to after the intervention on the POMS and SOSI total scores and most subscales, indicating less mood disturbance and fewer symptoms of stress, and these improvements were maintained at the 6-month follow-up. More advanced stages of cancer were associated with less initial mood disturbance, while more home practice and higher initial POMS scores predicted improvements on the POMS between the pre- and post-intervention scores. Female gender and more education were associated with higher initial SOSI scores, and improvements on the SOSI were predicted by more education and greater initial mood disturbance.

This program was effective in decreasing mood disturbance and stress symptoms for up to 6 months in both male and female patients with a wide variety of cancer diagnoses, stages of illness, and educational background, and with disparate ages.

J Abnorm Psychol. 2000 Feb; 109(1):150-5

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy reduces overgeneral autobiographical memory in formerly depressed patients

Whereas control patients showed no change in specificity of memories recalled in response to cue words, the treatment group showed a significantly reduced number of generic memories. Although such a memory deficit may arise from long-standing tendencies to encode and retrieve events generically, such a style is open to modification


Psychosom Med. 2000 Sep-Oct; 62(5):613-22

Mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients.

After the intervention, patients in the treatment group had significantly lower scores on Total Mood Disturbance and subscales of Depression, Anxiety, Anger, and Confusion and more Vigor than control subjects. The treatment group also had fewer overall Symptoms of Stress; fewer Cardiopulmonary and Gastrointestinal symptoms; less Emotional Irritability, Depression, and Cognitive Disorganization; and fewer Habitual Patterns of stress. Overall reduction in Total Mood Disturbance was 65%, with a 31% reduction in Symptoms of Stress.

This program was effective in decreasing mood disturbance and stress symptoms in both male and female patients with a wide variety of cancer diagnoses, stages of illness, and ages. cancer, stress, mood, intervention, mindfulness.

J Behav Med. 1998 Dec; 21(6):581-99

Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on medical and premedical students

Findings indicate that participation in the intervention can effectively (1) reduce self-reported state and trait anxiety, (2) reduce reports of overall psychological distress including depression, (3) increase scores on overall empathy levels, and (4) increase scores on a measure of spiritual experiences assessed at termination of intervention. These results (5) replicated in the wait-list control group, (6) held across different experiments, and (7) were observed during the exam period. Future research should address potential long-term effects of mindfulness training for medical and premedical students.


Psychosom Med. 1998 Sep-Oct; 60(5):625-32

Rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA).

Cox-proportional hazards regression analysis showed that subjects in the tape groups reached the Halfway Point (p = .013) and the Clearing Point (p = .033) significantly more rapidly than those in the no-tape condition, for both UVB and PUVA treatments.

A brief mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention delivered by audiotape during ultraviolet light therapy can increase the rate of resolution of psoriatic lesions in patients with psoriasis

Psychother Psychosom. 1997; 66(2):97-106

Effects on psychological symptomatology, sense of control, and spiritual experiences.

compared with controls, evidenced significantly greater changes in terms of: (1) reductions in overall psychological symptomatology; (2) increase in overall domain-specific sense of control and utilization of an accepting or yielding mode of control in their lives, and (3) higher scores on a measure of spiritual experiences.

The techniques of mindfulness meditation, with their emphasis on developing detached observation and awareness of the contents of consciousness, may represent a powerful cognitive behavioral coping strategy for transforming the ways in which we respond to life events. They may also have potential for relapse prevention in affective disorders.

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1995 May; 17(3):192-200

Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders

Repeated measures analysis showed maintenance of the gains obtained in the original study on the Hamilton [F(2,32) = 13.22; p < 0.001] and Beck [F(2,32) = 9.83; p < 0.001] anxiety scales as well as on their respective depression scales, on the Hamilton panic score, the number and severity of panic attacks, and on the Mobility Index-Accompanied and the Fear Survey. A 3-year follow-up comparison of this cohort with a larger group of subjects from the intervention who had met criteria for screening for the original study suggests generalizability of the results obtained with the smaller, more intensively studied cohort. Ongoing compliance with the meditation practice was also demonstrated in the majority of subjects at 3 years.

We conclude that an intensive but time-limited group stress reduction intervention based on mindfulness meditation can have long-term beneficial effects in the treatment of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders

Behav Res Ther. 1995 Jan; 33(1):25-39

How does cognitive therapy prevent depressive relapse and why should attentional control (mindfulness) training help


. This analysis provides the basis for the development of Attentional Control Training, a new approach to preventing relapse that integrates features of cognitive therapy and mindfulness training and is applicable to recovered depressed patients.

Med Hypotheses. 1995 Jan; 44(1):39-46.

Meditation, melatonin and breast/prostate cancer: hypothesis and preliminary data

The main outcome measure was the total excretion of urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin. Multiple linear regression (Proc GLM in SAS) was performed to test the effect of meditation (RM vs NM) on 6-sulphatoxymelatonin. The results of the study were that after controlling for the non-significant effect of menstrual period interval, we found an effect of meditation group (RM vs NM: b = 1.983; F = 6.78; p = 0.02) and age (for each integer year: b = 0.169; F = 8.41; p = 0.01).

The conclusion is that study results are consistent with our hypothesis and indicate that melatonin might be a useful parameter in testing similar psycho-social interventions.

Am J Psychiatry. 1992 Jul; 149(7):936-43

Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Repeated measures analyses of variance documented significant reductions in anxiety and depression scores after treatment for 20 of the subjects--changes that were maintained at follow-up. The number of subjects experiencing panic symptoms was also substantially reduced. A comparison of the study subjects with a group of nonstudy participants in the program who met the initial screening criteria for entry into the study showed that both groups achieved similar reductions in anxiety scores on the SCL-90-R and on the Medical Symptom Checklist, suggesting generalizability of the study findings.

A group mindfulness meditation training program can effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and panic and can help maintain these reductions in patients with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or panic disorder with agoraphobia.

Behav Res Ther. 1992 Mar; 30(2):175-89

Two controlled evaluations of multicomponent psychological treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

In Study 1 (n = 10 per condition) there were nonsignificant trends for the multicomponent (relaxation, thermal biofeedback, and cognitive therapy) treatment to be superior to the attention-placebo (pseudo-meditation and EEG alpha suppression biofeedback)  condition. In Study 2 (n = 30 per condition), we found no advantage for the multicomponent treatment over the attention-placebo condition

Possible explanations for the results are explored

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1989 Dec; 57(6):950-64.

Transcendental meditation, mindfulness, and longevity: an experimental study with the elderly.

The MF group improved most, followed by TM, on perceived control and word fluency. After 3 years, survival rate was 100% for TM and 87.5% for MF in contrast to lower rates for other groups


J Behav Med. 1985 Jun; 8(2):163-90

The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain

Statistically significant reductions were observed in measures of present-moment pain, negative body image, inhibition of activity by pain, symptoms, mood disturbance, and psychological symptomatology, including anxiety and depression. Pain-related drug utilization decreased and activity levels and feelings of self-esteem increased. Improvement appeared to be independent of gender, source of referral, and type of pain. A comparison group of pain patients did not show significant improvement on these measures after traditional treatment protocols. At follow-up, the improvements observed during the meditation training were maintained up to 15 months post-meditation training for all measures except present-moment pain. The majority of subjects reported continued high compliance with the meditation practice as part of their daily lives.


Percept Mot Skills. 1984 Jun; 58(3):775-84

Visual sensitivity and mindfulness meditation.

After the retreat, practitioners could detect shorter single-light flashes and required a shorter interval to differentiate between successive flashes correctly. The control group did not change on either measure. Phenomenological reports indicate that mindfulness practice enables practitioners to become aware of some of the usually preattentive processes involved in visual detection.

The results support the statements found in Buddhist texts on meditation concerning the changes in perception encountered during the practice of mindfulness.

Percept Mot Skills. 1984 Jun; 58(3):727-33

Differences in visual sensitivity among mindfulness meditators and non-meditators

Meditation practitioners were able to detect light flashes of shorter duration than the non-meditators.

The results support the statements found in Buddhist texts on meditation concerning the changes in perception encountered during the practice of mindfulness.

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1982 Apr; 4(1):33-47. 

An outpatient program in behavioral medicine for chronic pain patients based on the practice of mindfulness meditation: theoretical considerations and preliminary results.

Data are presented on 51 chronic pain patients who had not improved with traditional medical care. The dominant pain categories were low back, neck and shoulder, and headache. Facial pain, angina pectoris, noncoronary chest pain, and GI pain were also represented. At 10 weeks, 65% of the patients showed a reduction of greater than or equal to 33% in the mean total Pain Rating Index (Melzack) and 50% showed a reduction of greater than or equal to 50%. Similar decreases were recorded on other pain indices and in the number of medical symptoms reported. Large and significant reductions in mood disturbance and psychiatric symptomatology accompanied these changes and were relatively stable on follow-up. These improvements were independent of the pain category

We conclude that this form of meditation can be used as the basis for an effective behavioral program in self-regulation for chronic pain patients. Key features of the program structure, and the limitations of the present uncontrolled study are discussed.

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