Telephone-based mindfulness training improves symptoms of psychological distress in ICU survivors

Cox, C. E., et al. (2013). Development and Preliminary Evaluation of a Telephone-based Mindfulness Training Intervention for Survivors of Critical Illness. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, (ja). Article in press, epub Decc. 4.

Excerpts from the AbstractPersistent symptoms of psychological distress represent an unmet need among intensive care unit (ICU) survivors. This was an open exploratory trial involving survivors of medical and surgical critical illness and their informal caregivers using a pre-test/post-test design. We developed a 6-session, telephone-delivered, ICU survivor-specific mindfulness intervention based on past focus groups, the medical literature, and the precedent of the most effective components of existing mindfulness programs.

Of the 10 remaining participants, 8 (80%) completed the program within 7 weeks. Among these eight patients and caregivers who completed all study procedures, 6 (75%) experienced improvement in symptoms of psychological distress (anxiety, depression, or PTSD). Changes in distress symptoms were correlated with improvement in mindfulness qualities, adaptive coping, and emotion regulation. Participants reported high satisfaction with the program in post-intervention interviews.