Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 243–250 | Cite as

Phone-Delivered Mindfulness Training for Patients with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators: Results of a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher
  • Sybil L. Crawford
  • James Carmody
  • Lawrence Rosenthal
  • Gloria Yeh
  • Mary Stanley
  • Karen Rose
  • Clifford Browning
  • Ira S. Ockene
Brief Report



The reduction in adrenergic activity and anxiety associated with meditation may be beneficial for patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators.


This study aims to determine the feasibility of a phone-delivered mindfulness intervention in patients with defibrillators and to obtain preliminary indications of efficacy on mindfulness and anxiety.


Clinically stable outpatients were randomized to a mindfulness intervention (eight weekly individual phone sessions) or to a scripted follow-up phone call. We used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Five Facets of Mindfulness to measure anxiety and mindfulness, and multivariate linear regression to estimate the intervention effect on pre-post-intervention changes in these variables.


We enrolled 45 patients (23 mindfulness and 22 control; age, 43–83; 30 % women). Retention was 93 %; attendance was 94 %. Mindfulness (beta = 3.31; p = 0.04) and anxiety (beta = −1.15; p = 0.059) improved in the mindfulness group.


Mindfulness training can be effectively phone-delivered and may improve mindfulness and anxiety in cardiac defibrillator outpatients.


Mindfulness Anxiety Implantable cardioverter defibrillators Phone-delivery 



The authors are immensely grateful to the patients who volunteered to participate in this study. The authors also wish to thank our mindfulness instructors: Judith Nielsen, Carole Legro, Zayda Vallejo, Joanne Rowley, and Elana Rosenbaum for their invaluable work. Dr. Salmoirago-Blotcher was supported by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM F32AT005048)

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher
    • 1
  • Sybil L. Crawford
    • 2
  • James Carmody
    • 2
  • Lawrence Rosenthal
    • 1
  • Gloria Yeh
    • 3
  • Mary Stanley
    • 1
  • Karen Rose
    • 1
  • Clifford Browning
    • 1
  • Ira S. Ockene
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Division of Preventive and Behavioral MedicineUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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