Brief meditation improves sleep, relaxation, and more accepting approaches to the illness experience

Keyworth, C., et al. (2013). A mixed methods pilot study of the acceptability and effectiveness of a brief meditation and mindfulness intervention for people with diabetes and coronary heart disease. Behavioral Medicine, (just-accepted).

Excerpts from the Abstract: Mindfulness based interventions can successfully target negative perseverative cognitions such as worry and thought suppression, but their acceptability and effectiveness in people with long term conditions is uncertain.

We therefore pilot tested a 6-week meditation and mindfulness intervention in people (n = 40) with diabetes and coronary heart disease. We used a sequential mixed-methods approach that measured change in worry and thought suppression and qualitatively explored acceptability, feasibility and user experience with a focus group (n = 11), and in-depth interviews (n = 16). The intervention was highly acceptable, with 90% completing ≥5 sessions.

Meditation and mindfulness skills led to improved sleep, greater relaxation and more accepting approaches to illness and illness experience. At the end of the 6-week meditation course worry and thought suppression were significantly reduced. Positive impacts on psychological health may relate to acquisition and development of meta-cognitive skills but this needs experimental confirmation.