, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 273-284
Date: 14 May 2013

An Online Mindfulness Intervention Targeting Socioemotional Regulation in Fibromyalgia: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Background

Patients with fibromyalgia (FM) experience pain as well as deficits in positive affect and social relations that are not explicitly addressed in most behavioral treatments.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of a 12-module online intervention targeting socioemotional regulation via mindful awareness/acceptance (MSER) with those of an attention-control treatment, healthy lifestyle tips (HT).

Methods

Seventy-nine FM patients were randomly assigned to MSER or HT, with outcomes assessed via online diary reports of pain, coping efficacy, affect, and social relations. Multilevel analyses revealed greater improvements in social functioning, positive affect, and coping efficacy for pain and stress (all ps < .05) in MSER versus HT across the 6-week trial.

Conclusions

FM patients experience increases in self-efficacy for coping with pain and positive engagement in relationships, marginal increases in positive affect, and decreases in relationship stress from an automated online intervention that targets socioemotional regulation skills. Findings highlight the potential utility of widely accessible, low-cost intervention methods for fibromyalgia (Clinicaltrials.gov number NCT01748786).

This research was supported by grants from the Arizona Institute for Mental Health Research to Mary C. Davis and Pfizer to Alex J. Zautra.