Promising psychological treatments for fibromyalgia

Pérez-Aranda, A., et al. (2017). Description and narrative review of well-established and promising psychological treatments for fibromyalgia. Mindfulness & Compassion,

Abstract. Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a prevalent, disabling syndrome characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and symptoms such as sleep disturbance, fatigue, stiffness, distress, cognitive impairments and a high comorbidity with anxiety and depressive disorders. Although no curative treatment has yet been found, various therapeutic approaches have been developed in the fields of pharmacology and psychology.

The present paper aims to offer a narrative review and a description for clinicians and researchers of psychological therapies that have been applied in a format group in FMS with strong or promising empirical support: i.e., Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Psychoeducational program for FMS (FibroQoL), Amygdala Retraining Therapy (ART), and Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy (ABCT).

This review will offer a brief practical summary of each therapy protocol (session-by-session), their rationale and available evidence of their effectiveness.

Sleep quality, mood disturbance, and concentration in college students

Gryffin, P., Chen, W., & Erenguc, N. (2014). Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs of Meditation in College Students: Barriers and Opportunities. American Journal of Educational Research, 2(4), 189-192. Full text. Abstract:

College students have a high burden of stress resulting from balancing college life, academic studies, work, and family. Meditation has been shown to be an effective coping tool for dealing with stress. Current uses of meditation and mindfulness to enhance college student success were also presented. Studies regarding various benefits of meditation have addressed the need for understanding barriers to meditation.

To determine barriers and opportunities for meditation and related practices, a Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs (KAB) survey was conducted to determine student perceptions regarding the use of meditation in a college population. The constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM) were utilized to categorize student responses.

Opportunities for promoting meditation are presented, including increase mindfulness, better sleep quality, enhanced forgiveness, reduced mood disturbance, increased GPA, and increased awareness and stopping of incessant and destructive thoughts. Ignorance of the benefits of meditative practices were identified as the primary barrier.

Insomnia study: meditation vs. medication

Gross, C.R., et al. (2010). Mindfulness-based stress reduction versus pharmacotherapy for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Explore (NY),7 (2), 76-87. Full text.

Excerpts from the Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as a treatment for chronic primary insomnia.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction, a program of mindfulness meditation training consisting of eight weekly 2.5 hour classes and a daylong retreat, was provided, with ongoing home meditation practice expectations during three-month follow-up. Pharmacotherapy, consisting of three milligrams of eszopiclone (LUNESTA) nightly for eight weeks, followed by three months of use as needed.

This study provides initial evidence for the efficacy of MBSR as a viable treatment for chronic insomnia as measured by sleep diary, actigraphy, well-validated sleep scales, and measures of remission and clinical recovery.

Managing sleep disturbance in cancer survivors

Nakamura, Y. , et al. (2013). Investigating efficacy of two brief mind-body intervention programs for managing sleep disturbance in cancer survivors: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice. January 2013 E-pub ahead of print.

From the Abstract:

PURPOSE: After completing treatment, cancer survivors may suffer from a multitude of physical and mental health impairments, resulting in compromised quality of life. This exploratory study investigated whether two mind-body interventions, i.e., Mind-Body Bridging (MBB) and Mindfulness Meditation (MM), could improve posttreatment cancer survivors’ self-reported sleep disturbance and comorbid symptoms, as compared to sleep hygiene education as an active control.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides preliminary evidence that brief sleep-focused MBB and MM are promising interventions for sleep disturbance in cancer survivors. Integrating MBB or MM into posttreatment supportive plans should enhance care of cancer survivors with sleep disturbance. Because MBB produced additional secondary benefits, MBB may serve as a promising multipurpose intervention for posttreatment cancer survivors suffering from sleep disturbance and other comorbid symptoms.