The Effectiveness of Mindfulness Training on the Grieving Process and Emotional Well-Being of Chronic Pain Patients
- Cite this article as:
- Sagula, D. & Rice, K.G. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings (2004) 11: 333. doi:10.1023/B:JOCS.0000045353.78755.51
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Losses in relationships, work, and other areas of life often accompany the physical discomfort of chronic pain. Often the depth and intensity of the grief associated with chronic pain are overlooked or possibly misdiagnosed and treated as depression. We used an 8-week mindfulness meditation program to determine its effectiveness in addressing the grieving process among 39 patients diagnosed with chronic pain. Eighteen patients volunteered to be in a comparison group. The study was conducted in a regional hospital's pain clinic and patients completed the Response to Loss Scale (measuring grief), the Beck Depression Inventory, and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. Results indicated that the treatment group advanced significantly more quickly through the initial stages of grieving than the comparison group. In addition, the treatment group demonstrated significant reductions in depression and state anxiety, but no significant differences emerged when comparing groups on the final stages of grieving or trait anxiety.