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.

Reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression, blood pressure in patients with coronary heart disease.

Parswani, M. J., Sharma, M. P., & Iyengar, S. S. (2013). Mindfulness-based stress reduction program in coronary heart disease: A randomized control trial. International Journal of Yoga, 6(2), 111. Full text.

From the Abstract: Psychological risk factors such as anxiety and depression have been associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). Stress can have an impact on the risk factors for the disease, such as high blood pressure (BP), physical inactivity and being overweight.

Thirty male patients, age range (30-65 years) with CHD were randomly allocated to either [treatment and control] group. The therapeutic program comprised eight weekly sessions of structured MBSR intervention for the MBSR group and one health education session for the [control] group. Regular medical intervention and monthly consultations with the cardiologist were consistent for both groups.

All patients completed intervention in the MBSR group. Significant reduction was observed in symptoms of anxiety and depression, perceived stress, BP and BMI in patients of the MBSR group after the completion of intervention assessment. At 3-month follow-up, therapeutic gains were maintained in patients of the MBSR group.