Mindfulness-based therapy for dyspnea

Mularski, R. A., et al. (2009). Randomized controlled trial of mindfulness-based therapy for dyspnea in chronic obstructive lung disease. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine15(10), 1083-1090, DOI: 10.1089=acm.2009.0037. Full text.

From the Abstract. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of a mindfulness-based breathing therapy on improving symptoms and health-related quality of life in those with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).

This trial found no measurable improvements in patients with COPD receiving a mindfulness-based breathing therapy compared to a support group, suggesting that this intervention is unlikely to be an important therapeutic option for those with moderate-to-severe COPD.

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The effect of diaphragmatic breathing

Ma, X., et al. (2017). The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative affect and stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in psychology, no. 8, pp. 874, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874. Full text.

From the Abstract. A growing number of empirical studies have revealed that diaphragmatic breathing may trigger body relaxation responses and benefit both physical and mental health. However, the specific benefits of diaphragmatic breathing on mental health remain largely unknown.

The present study aimed to investigate the effect of diaphragmatic breathing on cognition, affect, and cortisol responses to stress. Forty participants were randomly assigned to either a breathing intervention group (BIG) or a control group (CG). The BIG received intensive training for 20 sessions, implemented over 8 weeks, employing a real-time feedback device, and an average respiratory rate of 4 breaths/min, while the CG did not receive this treatment. . . . 

The findings suggested that the BIG showed a significant decrease in negative affect after intervention, compared to baseline.  . . .  In conclusion, diaphragmatic breathing could improve sustained attention, affect, and cortisol levels.

Diaphragmatic breathing

Yokogawa, M., et al. (2018). Comparison of two instructions for deep breathing exercise: non-specific and diaphragmatic breathing. Journal of physical therapy science30(4), 614-618. Full text.

Abstract. [Purpose] Breathing exercises are frequently prescribed to reduce pulmonary complications after abdominal and thoracic surgery. Appropriate instructions ensuring the integrity of the self-exercise are important. This study compared the effects of two instructions, focusing on non-specific breathing (NB) and diaphragmatic breathing (DB) patterns, respectively, on the ventilatory efficiency and work of breathing. 

[Subjects and Methods] The participants were healthy men (n=15) and women (n=15). Ventilatory parameters, heart rate, and autonomic nervous system activity were measured during natural and deep breathing phases performed under the two instructions (NB and DB), with the deep breathing phase following the natural breathing phase.

[Results] For both men and women, ventilatory efficiency was increased during deep breathing relative to natural breathing, regardless of the instructions. In women, the increment in ventilatory efficiency during deep breathing was greater under NB compared to that under DB. The work of breathing decreased during deep breathing in women under both instructions, but did not change in men under DB.

[Conclusion] Under NB instruction, deep breathing elicits similar or greater effects on ventilatory efficiency compared to that under DB instruction.

Burnout among hospital chaplains

Hotchkiss, J. T., & Lesher, R. (2018). Factors Predicting Burnout Among Chaplains: Compassion Satisfaction, Organizational Factors, and the Mediators of Mindful Self-Care and Secondary Traumatic Stress. Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling72(2), 86-98, https://doi.org/10.1177/1542305018780655

From the Abstract. This study predicted Burnout from the self-care practices, compassion satisfaction, secondary traumatic stress, and organizational factors among chaplains who participated from all 50 states (N = 534).

Chaplains serving in a hospital were slightly more at risk for Burnout than those in hospice or other settings. Organizational factors that most predicted Burnout were feeling bogged down by the “system” (25.7%) and an overwhelming caseload (19.9%).

The strongest protective factors against Burnout in order of strength were self-compassion and purpose, supportive structure, mindful self-awareness, mindful relaxation, supportive relationships, and physical care.

For secondary traumatic stress, supportive structure, mindful self-awareness, and self-compassion and purpose were the strongest protective factors. Chaplains who engaged in multiple and frequent self-care strategies experienced higher professional quality of life and low Burnout risk.

In the chaplain’s journey toward wellness, a reflective practice of feeling good about doing good and mindful self-care are vital. The significance, implications, and limitations of the study were discussed.

Postpartum women after mindfulness childbirth classes

Kantrowitz‐Gordon, I., et al. (2018). Experiences of Postpartum Women after Mindfulness Childbirth Classes: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, https://doi.org/10.1111/jmwh.12734. Online ahead of publication.

From the Abstract. The postpartum period can be a challenging experience for many women as they adjust to the physical and social changes after childbirth.

Mindfulness‐based interventions have been developed for stress reduction in a variety of health contexts, including pregnancy. These interventions provide strategies that may help new mothers handle the physical, emotional, and relationship challenges of the postpartum period and increase acceptance of postpartum physical changes and body image. 

Limited research has explored whether women use skills learned in prenatal mindfulness classes for the postpartum experience and parenting. The purpose of this study was to explore women’s experience with mindfulness in the year after childbirth.

. . .  Mindfulness skills helped class participants cope with physical and emotional challenges postpartum and fostered positive meaningful relationships with partners and newborns. Findings have implications for future research on mindfulness‐based interventions and the postpartum experience.

Adolescents with cronic diseases

Abujaradeh, H., et al. (2018). Mindfulness-Based Interventions among Adolescents with Chronic Diseases in Clinical Settings: A Systematic Review. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2018.04.001. Online ahead of publication.

Abstract. We aimed to determine the benefits/efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) implemented among adolescents with chronic diseases in clinical settings.

Nineteen eligible studies were included in this review. Fifteen studies included adolescents with psychiatric or pain disorders, and four included adolescents with a chronic physical disorders. Psychological outcomes and pain were examined in most studies with effect sizes for MBIs ranging from small to large.

MBI studies conducted in clinical settings mainly engaged adolescents with psychiatric or pain disorders. The effectiveness of MBIs on improving psychological outcomes were inconsistent. Large randomized trials are needed to examine the effectiveness of MBIs and should expand to include adolescents with chronic physical diseases.

Mindfulness-based art therapy

Hinchey, Liza M. “Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy: A Review of the Literature.” Inquiries Journal, vol. 10, no. 5, 2018. Full text.

Abstract. This review discusses Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy research to date. A literature review first explores mindfulness and art therapy independently, then investigates the current research on the combination of these two modalities used with clients with mental and emotional issues, physical illnesses, self-acceptance/self-esteem, and personal relationships. According to the current research, this therapeutic modality has shown to be beneficial for many populations.