Quality of Life Research

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 367–376 | Cite as

Improving quality of life using compound mind-body therapies: evaluation of a course intervention with body movement and breath therapy, guided imagery, chakra experiencing and mindfulness meditation

  • Lotta Fernros
  • Anna-Karin Furhoff
  • Per E. Wändell


Objective Assess changes in quality of life and in sense of coherence (SOC), after an intervention involving a self-development course using mind–body medicine (MBM) activities.

Design A questionnaire study using a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) instrument, the SWEDQUAL, with 13 subscales and scores ranging from 0 to 100, combined with the SOC-13 scale, healthcare utilisation, medication and sick listing data.

Setting A training centre for MBM. Eligible course attendants (study group, SG, n = 83) assessed their HRQOL before and 6 months after a 1-week course. A control group (CG) of individuals who had previously attended the course (n = 69), matched for age, sex and length of course time to the SG, also made assessments.

Main outcome Changes in HRQOL and SOC in SG and CG.

Results Of the 13 HRQOL subscales, eight showed clinically significant improvement in the SG (>9%, p < 0.01), namely, General health perceptions (9%), Emotional well-being [negative (45%) and positive (26%)], Cognitive functioning (24%), Sleep (15%), Pain (10%), Role limitation due to emotional health (22%) and Family functioning (16%). Sexual, marital and physical function and role in the SG as well as all CG scores were similar to average population values. The assessed SOC also improved in the SG after intervention (p < 0.01), challenging previous statements of ‘the stableness of SOC’. Use of psychotropic medication was slightly reduced in the younger aged SG participants after intervention.

Conclusions This group of men and women (SG), starting from a clinically significant low health assessment, had improved their HRQOL and SOC after the course intervention.


Breath therapy CAM classification Guided imagery Health-related quality of life Holistic health Intervention study Mindfulness meditation Mind-body medicine Sense of coherence 



Complementary and alternative medicine


Control group


Health-related quality of life


Mind–body medicine, subgroup of CAM (including relaxation techniques)


Mind-body relations (MESH term definition: the relation between the mind and the body in a religious, social, spiritual, behavioural, and metaphysical context. This concept is significant in the field of alternative medicine)


Psychoactive drugs: (in this study) SSRI depression medication, tranquillisers and/or sleeping pills


Primary modes of therapeutic action


Quality of life (in general)


Study group


Sense of coherence



This study was supported by separate grants from the Stockholm County Council and it’s Center for Family and Community Medicine, Huddinge, Sweden.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lotta Fernros
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anna-Karin Furhoff
    • 1
  • Per E. Wändell
    • 1
  1. 1.Karolinska Institutet/Stockholm County Council’s Center for Family and Community MedicineHuddingeSweden
  2. 2.Center for Family and Community MedicineKarolinska InsitutetHuddingeSweden

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