Mindfulness Meditation Alleviates Fibromyalgia Symptoms in Women: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial
- 2.2k Downloads
Several recent reviews have evaluated evidence on the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) among fibromyalgia sufferers, and concluded that more research should test effects on both psychological and physiological functioning.
We conducted a randomized prospective trial of MBSR among female fibromyalgia patients.
Effects on perceived stress, pain, sleep quality, fatigue, symptom severity, and salivary cortisol were tested in treatment (n = 51) versus wait-list control participants (n = 40) using data at baseline, post-program, and 2-month follow-up.
Analyses revealed that MBSR significantly reduced perceived stress, sleep disturbance, and symptom severity, with gains maintained at follow-up. Greater home practice at follow-up was associated with reduced symptom severity. MBSR did not significantly alter pain, physical functioning, or cortisol profiles.
MBSR ameliorated some of the major symptoms of fibromyalgia and reduced subjective illness burden. Further exploration of MBSR effects on physiological stress responses is warranted. These results support use of MBSR as a complementary treatment for women with fibromyalgia (ISRCTN: 34628811).
KeywordsFibromyalgia Mindfulness meditation Perceived stress Sleep Cortisol
This was an investigator-initiated study funded by faculty startup monies awarded to S.E.S by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. A.F. was supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute. L.A.Z. was supported by a doctoral fellowship from the University of Louisville School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies. S.E.S. was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Mental Health. E.D. was supported by a Career Development Award-2 from the Clinical Science Research and Development Service of the VA Office of Research and Development. The funders played no role in the design, conduct or analysis of the study, nor in the interpretation and reporting of the study findings. The researchers were independent from the funders. All authors, external and internal, had full access to all of the data (including statistical reports and tables) in the study and can take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Authors’ Statement of Conflict of Interest and Adherence to Ethical Standards
Author Elizabeth Cash, Author Paul Salmon, Author Inka Weissbecker, Author Whitney N. Rebholz, Author Rene Bayley-Veloso, Author Lauren Zimmaro, Author Andrea Floyd, Author Eric Dedert, and Author Sandra E. Sephton declare that they have no conflict of interest. All procedures, including the informed consent process, were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.
- 4.Shillam CR, Dupree Jones K, Miller L. Fibromyalgia symptoms, physical function, and comorbidity in middle-aged and older adults. Nurs. Res. 2011;1: doi:10.1097/NNR.0b013e31822bbdfa.Google Scholar
- 7.Mease P. Fibromyalgia syndrome: review of clinical presentation, pathogenesis, outcome measures, and treatment. J Rheumatol. 2005; 75: 6-21.Google Scholar
- 8.McCain GA, Tilbe KS. Diurnal hormone variation in fibromyalgia syndrome: a comparison with rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol Suppl. 1989; 19: 154-157.Google Scholar
- 16.Hellhammer J, Fries E, Schweisthal OW, Schlotz W, Stone AA, Hagemann D. Several daily measurements are necessary to reliably assess the cortisol rise after awakening: state- and trait components. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2007; 32(1): 80-86. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2006.10.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 19.Curtis K, Osadchuk A, Katz J. An eight-week yoga intervention is associated with improvements in pain, psychological functioning and mindfulness, and changes in cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia. J Pain Res. 2011; 4: 189-201. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S22761.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 20.Carlson LE, Speca M, Faris P, Patel KD. One year pre-post intervention follow-up of psychological, immune, endocrine and blood pressure outcomes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in breast and prostate cancer outpatients. Brain Behav Immun. 2007; 21(8): 1038-1049. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2007.04.002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 40.Bernstein DP, Fink L. Childhood Trauma Questionnaire: A Retrospective Self-Report: Manual. Harcourt Brace & Company; 1998.Google Scholar
- 42.Callahan LF, Brooks RH, Summey JA, Pincus T. Quantitative pain assessment for routine care of rheumatoid arthritis patients, using a pain scale based on activities of daily living and a visual analog pain scale. Arthritis Rheum. 1987; 30(6): 630-636. doi: 10.1002/art.1780300605.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 48.Pledger GW. Basic statistics: importance of compliance. J Clin Res Pharmacoepidemiol. 1992; 6(2): 77-81.Google Scholar
- 51.Lambert MJ, ed. Bergin and Garfield’s Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change. 5th ed. New York, NY: Wiley; 2004.Google Scholar
- 53.Salmon P, Sephton S, Dreeben, S. Mindfulness-based stress reduction. In: Herbert JD, Forman E, eds. Acceptance and mindfulness in cognitive behavioral therapy. NJ: Wiley; 2011.Google Scholar
- 59.Rosenzweig S, Greeson JM, Reibel DK, Green JS, Jasser SA, Beasley D. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice. J Psychosom Res. 2010; 68(1): 29-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2009.03.010.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 66.Carlson LE, Speca M, Patel KD, Goodey E. Mindfulness-based stress reduction in relation to quality of life, mood, symptoms of stress, and immune parameters in breast and prostate cancer outpatients. Psychosom Med. 2003; 65(4): 571-581. doi: 10.1097/01.PSY.0000074003.35911.41.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 75.Lazarus RS, Folkman S. Stress, Appraisal, and Coping. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company; 1984.Google Scholar
- 77.Lehrer PM, Woolfolk RL, Sime WE. Principles and Practice of Stress Management, Third Edition. New York, NY: Guilford Press; 2007.Google Scholar
- 86.Kilpatrick LA, et al. Impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction training on intrinsic brain connectivity. Neuroimage 2011;56(1): 290-298.Google Scholar
- 87.Salmon P, Lush E, Jablonski M, Sephton SE (2008) Yoga and Mindfulness: Clinical Aspects of an Ancient Mind/Body Practice. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpra.2008.07.002.