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Mediators and moderators of change in mindfulness-based stress reduction for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy

Abstract

Painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (PDPN) is a chronic pain condition with modest response to pharmacotherapy. Participation in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) leads to improvements in pain-related outcomes but the mechanisms of change are unknown. The present study examined the mediators and moderators of change in 62 patients with PDPN who participated in a randomized controlled trial comparing MBSR to waitlist. Changes in mindfulness and pain catastrophizing were tested simultaneously as mediators. Increased mindfulness mediated the association between participation in MBSR and improved pain severity, pain interference, and the physical component of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) 3 months later. The mediation effect of pain catastrophizing was not significant. Linear moderated trends were also found. Post-hoc moderated mediation analyses suggested that MBSR patients with longer histories of diabetes might increase their mindfulness levels more, which in turn leads to improved pain severity and physical HRQoL. These results allow for a deeper understanding of pathways by which MBSR benefits patients with PDPN.

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Funding

The authors acknowledge the Canadian Diabetes Association and the University of Ottawa Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine as the funding source for the original study.

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Correspondence to Karolina A. Rozworska.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Rozworska, K.A., Poulin, P.A., Carson, A. et al. Mediators and moderators of change in mindfulness-based stress reduction for painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. J Behav Med 43, 297–307 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00079-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00079-4

Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Pain management