Improve Bipolar Disorder with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Improve Bipolar Disorder with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Bipolar disorder can be complicated by stress, and having bipolar disorder is stressful in itself. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can reduce the stress you experience from bipolar disorder, which can help you keep your mood in check.” – Timothy Legg

 

Bipolar Disorder, also known as Manic Depressive Disorder, is a mood disorder characterized by alternating states of extreme depression, relative normalcy, and extreme euphoria (mania). The symptoms of depression and mania are so severe that the individual is debilitated and unable to conduct their normal daily lives. The depression is so severe that suicide occurs in about 1% of cases of Bipolar Disorder. There are great individual differences in Bipolar Disorder. The extreme mood swings can last for a few days to months and can occur only once or reoccur frequently.

 

Bipolar Disorder affects about 1% of the population throughout the world at any time. But about 3% to 10% of the population may experience it sometime during their lives. It is usually treated with drugs. But these medications are not always effective and can have difficult side effects. This disorder has been generally been found to be very difficult to treat with psychotherapy. Hence, there is a great need for alternative treatments.

 

Mindfulness practices and treatments have been shown to be effective for major mental disorders, including  depression and anxiety disorders and to improve the regulation of emotions.  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior.

 

It would seem appropriate to summarize what has been learned about the efficacy of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for the treatment of bipolar disorder. In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for bipolar disorder: A systematic review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7448295/) Lovas and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the effectiveness of MBCT for the treatment of bipolar disorder. They identified 13 published research studies.

 

They report that the published research studies found that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) significantly reduced depressive symptoms of patients with bipolar disorder while not eliciting symptoms of mania. MBCT appears to also reduce anxiety and suicidality. It appears to reduce depressive symptoms and improve mood by decreasing rumination, repetitive negative thoughts. It also appeared to improve attentional control, broadening present moment awareness from a focus on negative thoughts. In addition, it appears to create reappraisal, such that the patients were able to reappraise their negative thoughts as just thoughts and not facts. The improvements in depressive symptoms were found to be related to the amount of home practice during MBCT training.

 

These are promising results suggesting that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a safe and effective treatment for the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder. But the authors report that the published research studies were generally of low research quality and underpowered to discern statistically significant effects. So, better designed and larger studies need to be conducted before firm conclusions regarding benefits can be reached.

 

So, improve bipolar disorder with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

 

mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) may help individuals with bipolar disorder prevent depressive episodes and has lasting benefits to the brain and cognition.” – BP Magazine

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Lovas, D. A., & Schuman-Olivier, Z. (2018). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for bipolar disorder: A systematic review. Journal of affective disorders, 240, 247–261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.06.017

 

Abstract

Background:

Persisting high levels of relapse, morbidity and mortality in bipolar disorder (BD) in spite of first-line, evidence-based psychopharmacology has spurred development and research on adjunctive psychotherapies. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an emerging psychotherapy that has shown benefit in related and comorbid conditions such as major depressive, anxiety, and substance disorders. Furthermore, neurocognitive studies of MBCT suggest that that may have effects on some of the theorized pathophysiological processes in BD.

Methods:

We conducted a systematic literature review using PsychINFO and PubMed databases to identify studies reporting clinical and/or neurocognitive findings for MBCT for BD.

Results:

This search revealed 13 articles. There was a wide range in methodological quality and most studies were underpowered or did not present power calculations. However, MBCT did not appear to precipitate mania, and there is preliminary evidence to support a positive effect on anxiety, residual depression, mood regulation, and broad attentional and frontal-executive control.

Limitations:

As meta-analysis is not yet possible due to study heterogeneity and quality, the current review is a narrative synthesis, and therefore net effects cannot be estimated.

Conclusions:

MBCT for BD holds promise, but more high-quality studies are needed in order to ascertain its clinical efficacy. Recommendations to address the limitations of the current research are made.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7448295/

 

Reduce Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

Reduce Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Practicing mindfulness can assist with uncertainty about the future, depression, fear of recurrence and anxiety as well as mitigate physical symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and sleep disturbance.” – Erin Murphy-Wilczek

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. But cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Over half of the people diagnosed with cancer are still alive 10 years later and this number is rapidly increasing. But, surviving cancer carries with it a number of problems. Anxiety, depression, fatigue and insomnia are common symptoms in the aftermath of surviving breast cancer. These symptoms markedly reduce the quality of life of the patients.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to relieve chronic pain. It can also help treat the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including stress,  sleep disturbancefear, and anxiety and depression. There has been considerable research conducted on the effectiveness of mindfulness practices in treating the psychological issues associated with cancer. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned about the effectiveness of mindfulness in treating anxiety in cancer patients.

 

In today’s Research News article “Association of Mindfulness-Based Interventions With Anxiety Severity in Adults With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414391/) Oberoi and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published research on the effectiveness of mindfulness in reducing anxiety in adult cancer patients. They found 28 published trials. The most common forms of mindfulness treatment were Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) (13 studies) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) (6 studies).

 

They report that the published research found that mindfulness training reduced anxiety and depression and increased quality of life over the short and medium term (up to 6 months post-treatment) with moderate effect sizes. The reduction in anxiety and depression may be responsible for the improvement in the patients’ quality of life. But 2 trials had longer term follow up measures (over 6 months) and did not find significant reductions. The fact that the effects do not appear to last beyond 6 months suggests that continued mindfulness practice or periodic booster sessions may be needed.

 

Fighting cancer is very stressful and amplifies negative emotions like anxiety and depression. The stress produced by these emotions can in turn interfere with the body’s ability to fight the cancer. So, treating these negative emotional states may be very important not only for the individual’s mental health but also to their physical well-being. So, mindfulness training may be important to the overall health of the cancer patient by reducing anxiety and depression.

 

So, reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients with mindfulness.

 

“In summary, results show promise for mindfulness-based interventions to treat common psychological problems such as anxiety, stress, and depression in cancer survivors and to improve overall quality of life.” – Linda Carlson

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Oberoi, S., Yang, J., Woodgate, R. L., Niraula, S., Banerji, S., Israels, S. J., Altman, G., Beattie, S., Rabbani, R., Askin, N., Gupta, A., Sung, L., Abou-Setta, A. M., & Zarychanski, R. (2020). Association of Mindfulness-Based Interventions With Anxiety Severity in Adults With Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA network open, 3(8), e2012598. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.12598

 

Abstract

Importance

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), grounded in mindfulness, focus on purposely paying attention to experiences occurring at the present moment without judgment. MBIs are increasingly used by patients with cancer for the reduction of anxiety, but it remains unclear if MBIs reduce anxiety in patients with cancer.

Objective

To evaluate the association of MBIs with reductions in the severity of anxiety in patients with cancer.

Data Sources

Systematic searches of MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and SCOPUS were conducted from database inception to May 2019 to identify relevant citations.

Study Selection

Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that compared MBI with usual care, waitlist controls, or no intervention for the management of anxiety in cancer patients were included. Two reviewers conducted a blinded screening. Of 101 initially identified studies, 28 met the inclusion criteria.

Data Extraction and Synthesis

Two reviewers independently extracted the data. The Cochrane Collaboration risk-of-bias tool was used to assess the quality of RCTs, and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses reporting guideline was followed. Summary effect measures were reported as standardized mean differences (SMDs) and calculated using a random-effects model.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Our primary outcome was the measure of severity of short-term anxiety (up to 1-month postintervention); secondary outcomes were the severity of medium-term (1 to ≤6 months postintervention) and long-term (>6 to 12 months postintervention) anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life of patients and caregivers.

Results

This meta-analysis included 28 RCTs enrolling 3053 adults with cancer. None of the trials were conducted in children. Mindfulness was associated with significant reductions in the severity of short-term anxiety (23 trials; 2339 participants; SMD, −0.51; 95% CI, −0.70 to −0.33; I2 = 76%). The association of mindfulness with short-term anxiety did not vary by evaluated patient, intervention, or study characteristics. Mindfulness was also associated with the reduction of medium-term anxiety (9 trials; 965 participants; SMD, −0.43; 95% CI, −0.68 to −0.18; I2 = 66%). No reduction in long-term anxiety was observed (2 trials; 403 participants; SMD, −0.02; 95% CI, −0.38 to 0.34; I2 = 68%). MBIs were associated with a reduction in the severity of depression in the short term (19 trials; 1874 participants; SMD, −0.73; 95% CI; −1.00 to −0.46; I2 = 86%) and the medium term (8 trials; 891 participants; SMD, −0.85; 95% CI, −1.35 to −0.35; I2 = 91%) and improved health-related quality of life in patients in the short term (9 trials; 1108 participants; SMD, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.20 to 0.82; I2 = 82%) and the medium term (5 trials; 771 participants; SMD, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.52; I2 = 57%).

Conclusions and Relevance

In this study, MBIs were associated with reductions in anxiety and depression up to 6 months postintervention in adults with cancer. Future trials should explore the long-term association of mindfulness with anxiety and depression in adults with cancer and determine its efficacy in more diverse cancer populations using active controls.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7414391/

 

Reduce Depression in Vindictive/Self‐Centered Depressed Patients with Mindfulness

Reduce Depression in Vindictive/Self‐Centered Depressed Patients with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

there are a handful of key areas — including depression, chronic pain, and anxiety — in which well-designed, well-run studies have shown benefits for patients engaging in a mindfulness meditation program, with effects similar to other existing treatments.” – Alvin Powell

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs, only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training is an alternative treatment for depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs failMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. MBCT has been found to be effective in treating depression. Problematic interpersonal styles, such as submissive and hostile styles are characteristics of patients with chronic depression. It is possible that MBCT has differential effectiveness for depression, in patient’s with certain interpersonal problems and not others.

 

In today’s Research News article “Patients’ interpersonal problems as moderators of depression outcomes in a randomized controlled trial comparing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and a group version of the cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy in chronic depression.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318258/) Probst and colleagues recruited participants with a current, long-term, at least 2 years, major depressive disorder. They all received their treatment as usual. They were randomly assigned to receive either no additional treatment, or to receive 8 weeks, once a week, for 2.5 hours group sessions of either Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), or cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP). They were measured before and after treatment and 6 months later for depression, interpersonal problems including domineering/controlling; vindictive/self‐centered; cold/distant; socially inhibited/avoidant; nonassertive; overly accommodating/exploitable; self‐sacrificing/overly nurturant; and intrusive/needy.

 

They found that both treatments significantly reduced depression levels. But patients who were high in vindictive/self‐centered interpersonal problems benefited more (had a greater reductions in depression) from Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), than from cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP). Conversely, patients who were high in nonassertive interpersonal problems benefited more (had a greater reductions in depression) from cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) than from MBCT.

 

Vindictive/self‐centered individuals are frequently egocentric and hostile in dealing with others. Mindfulness training has been shown to produce decentering and lower hostility. So, it makes sense that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) would be particularly effective with these patients. On the other hand, nonassertive patients have difficulty expressing their needs to others and cognitive behavioral analysis appears to work better for them.

 

There are a number of different types of therapy for depression. So, the results of the present study are very useful. They suggest that knowing the particular interpersonal problems a patient has can help to select the form of therapy that will be maximally beneficial for them. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) appears to work best for vindictive/self‐centered depressed patients reducing their egocentricity and hostility.

 

So, reduce depression in vindictive/self‐centered depressed patients with mindfulness.

 

“Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a group program that is generally used to delay or prevent recurrence of major depression, but can also ameliorate acute depressive syndromes and symptoms.” – Zindel Segal

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Probst, T., Schramm, E., Heidenreich, T., Klein, J. P., & Michalak, J. (2020). Patients’ interpersonal problems as moderators of depression outcomes in a randomized controlled trial comparing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and a group version of the cognitive-behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy in chronic depression. Journal of clinical psychology, 76(7), 1241–1254. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22931

 

Abstract

Objectives

Interpersonal problems were examined as moderators of depression outcomes between mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and cognitive behavioral analysis system of psychotherapy (CBASP) in patients with chronic depression.

Methods

Patients received treatment‐as‐usual and, in addition, were randomized to 8‐weeks of MBCT (n = 34) or 8‐weeks of CBASP (n = 34). MBCT and CBASP were given in a group format. The Hamilton depression rating scale (HAM‐D) was the primary and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI‐II) the secondary outcome. The subscales of the Inventory of interpersonal problems (IIP‐32) were moderators. Multilevel models were performed.

Results

Higher scores on the “vindictive/self‐centered” subscale were associated with a better outcome in MBCT than in CBASP (HAM‐D: p < .01; BDI‐II: p < .01). Higher scores on the “nonassertive” subscale were associated with a better outcome in CBASP than in MBCT (HAM‐D: p < .01; BDI‐II: p < .01).

Conclusions

If these results can be replicated in larger trials, MBCT should be preferred to CBASP in chronically depressed patients being vindictive/self‐centered, whereas CBASP should be preferred to MBCT in chronically depressed patients being nonassertive.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318258/

 

Improve Fertility with Mindfulness

 

Improve Fertility with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

those who participate in a mind-body wellness program are 32% more likely to become pregnant!” – Michelle Anne

 

Infertility is primarily a medical condition due to physiological problems. It is quite common. It is estimated that in the U.S. 6.7 million women, about 10% of the population of women are infertile. Infertility can be more than just a medical issue. It can be an emotional crisis for many couples, especially for the women. Couples attending a fertility clinic reported that infertility was the most upsetting experience of their lives. Women with infertility reported feeling as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer, hypertension, or recovering from a heart attack.

 

Mindfulness training been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs fail. This is especially true for Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) which was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT has been shown to be effective in treating infertility. At this point it’s useful to step back and summarize what has been learned about mindfulness training and infertility.

 

In today’s Research News article “Application of Mindfulness-Based Psychological Interventions in Infertility.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295259/), Patel and colleagues review and summarize the published scientific research of the effectiveness of mindfulness training in treating infertility. They identified 9 published research studies.

 

They report that the research found that mindfulness training decreases anxiety, depression, stress, and anger, and increases well-being and quality of life of infertile women. These enhance the self-efficacy of women coping with infertility. Mindfulness training also has been found to reduce emotional stress and stress hormones and improve sleep and immune function all of which are known to play an important role in infertility. These all lead to increased conception rates.

 

The psychological and emotional issues that result from infertility produce a negative spiral, where infertility increases emotional dysfunction, which in turn lessens the likelihood of conception, which increases emotionality and so on. Mindfulness training appears to interrupt this cycle by improving the psychological and physical well-being of infertile women. This allows the women to relax and better cope with the issues surrounding infertility. This in turn improves their likelihood of conception. Hence, mindfulness training should be recommended for infertile women.

 

So, improve fertility with mindfulness.

 

mindfulness becomes the perfect antidote for the paradoxical land mines infertility presents. Mindfulness starts from the perspective that you are whole and complete already, regardless of flaws or imperfections. It is based on the concept of original goodness: your essential nature is good and pure. Proceeding from this vantage point gives you freedom from the bondage of inadequacy and insecurity.” – Janetti Marotta

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Patel, A., Sharma, P., & Kumar, P. (2020). Application of Mindfulness-Based Psychological Interventions in Infertility. Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences, 13(1), 3–21. https://doi.org/10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_51_19

 

Abstract

Living mindfully helps one gain a deeper understanding into realities of life. It enables people to witness suffering, desire, attachments, and impermanence without any fear, anxiety, anger, or despair. This is considered the hallmark of true psychological insight. As a skill, mindfulness can be inculcated by anyone. Mindfulness helps in attending, getting aware and understanding experiences in a compassion and open-minded way. Research suggests that applying mindfulness in daily life has been known to tame our emotional mind and enabled people to perceive things “as they are” without ascribing expectations, judgments, cynicism, or apprehensions to them. This review unravels the therapeutic power of mindfulness meditation in the context of infertility distress. It serves to integrate the evidence on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based psychological interventions to improve the emotional well-being and biological outcomes in Infertility.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7295259/

 

Reduce the Risk of Major Depression Relapse with Mindfulness

Reduce the Risk of Major Depression Relapse with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

a growing body of research is pointing to an intervention that appears to help prevent relapse by altering thought patterns without side effects: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or MBCT.” – Stacy Lu

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression.

 

Relapsing into depression is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training is an alternative treatment for depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs failMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior.

 

There has been considerable research demonstrating that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is effective in treating depression.  In today’s Research News article “The effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on risk and protective factors of depressive relapse – a randomized wait-list controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275325/), Schanche and colleagues investigate the ability of  MBCT to reduce risk factors associated with relapse in patients with major depressive disorder.

 

They recruited adult patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder who had at least 3 depressive episodes and who were currently in remission. They were randomly assigned to be on a wait list or to receive 8 weekly 2-hour sessions of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). They were measured before and after training for rumination, emotion regulation, anxiety, self-compassion, mindfulness, and depression.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list group after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there were significant reductions in rumination, anxiety, emotional reactivity to stress and depression and significant increases in emotion regulation, self-compassion and mindfulness. Hence, MBCT significantly improved the psychological well-being of these patients.

 

These are interesting results that suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) produces a reduction in the types of negative emotional symptoms that could promote a depressive relapse and an increase in factors that could promote resistance to relapse especially the ability to effectively cope with their emotions and compassion for themselves. Mindfulness training has been repeatedly shown in the past to reduce rumination, anxiety, emotional reactivity to stress and depression and increase emotion regulation and self-compassion. The present study demonstrates that these benefits occur in patients in remission from major depressive disorder. This suggests that MBCT is effective in improving the major depressive disorder patients psychological state in a way that suggests that they would be resistant to relapse in the future.

 

So, reduce the risk of major depression relapse with mindfulness.

 

MBCT and CT attempt to reduce the risk of relapse by promoting different skill sets. CT promotes challenging dysfunctional thinking and increasing physical activity level. MBCT promotes nonjudgmental monitoring of moment-by-moment experience, and decentering from thoughts or seeing thoughts as transient mental phenomena and not necessarily valid.” – American Mindfulness Research Association

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Elisabeth Schanche, Jon Vøllestad, Endre Visted, Julie Lillebostad Svendsen, Berge Osnes, Per Einar Binder, Petter Franer, Lin Sørensen. The effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on risk and protective factors of depressive relapse – a randomized wait-list controlled trial. BMC Psychol. 2020; 8: 57. Published online 2020 Jun 5. doi: 10.1186/s40359-020-00417-1

 

Abstract

Background

The aim of this randomized wait-list controlled trial was to explore the effects of Mindfulness–Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) on risk and protective factors for depressive relapse within the domains of cognition, emotion and self-relatedness.

Methods

Sixty-eight individuals with recurrent depressive disorder were randomized to MBCT or a wait-list control condition (WLC).

Results

Completers of MBCT (N = 26) improved significantly on measures assessing risk and protective factors of recurrent depression compared to WLC (N = 30) on measures of rumination (d = 0.59, p = .015), emotion regulation (d = 0.50, p = .028), emotional reactivity to stress (d = 0.32, p = .048), self-compassion (d = 1.02, p < .001), mindfulness (d = 0.59, p = .010), and depression (d = 0.40, p = .018). In the Intention To Treat sample, findings were attenuated, but there were still significant results on measures of rumination, self-compassion and depression.

Conclusions

Findings from the present trial contribute to evidence that MBCT can lead to reduction in risk factors of depressive relapse, and strengthening of factors known to be protective of depressive relapse. The largest changes were found in the domain of self-relatedness, in the form of large effects on the participants’ ability to be less self-judgmental and more self-compassionate.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7275325/

 

Mindfulness Training Changes Patients’ Relationship to Tinnitus and Improves Symptoms

Mindfulness Training Changes Patients’ Relationship to Tinnitus and Improves Symptoms

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

It hasn’t affected the tinnitus… It’s the way I think about it and the way I deal with it… knowing that in just a few moments it won’t be as bad… you have to accept that it’s there, you have to.” – Study Participant

 

Tinnitus is one of the most common symptoms to affect humanity. People with tinnitus live with a phantom noise that can range from a low hiss or ringing to a loud roar or squeal which can be present constantly or intermittently. It can have a significant impact on people’s ability to hear, concentrate, or even participate in everyday activities. The vast majority of people with tinnitus have what is known as subjective tinnitus. This is caused by unknown problems somewhere in the auditory system; the inner, middle, or outer ear, the part of the brain that translates nerve signals as sounds, or the auditory nerves.

 

Approximately 25 million to 50 million people in the United States experience it to some degree. Approximately 16 million people seek medical attention for their tinnitus, and for up to two million patients, debilitating tinnitus interferes with their daily lives. There are a number of treatments for tinnitus including, counseling, sound therapy, drugs, and even brain stimulation. Unfortunately, none of these treatments is very effective. Mindfulness practices have been shown to be effective in treating Tinnitus. How learning to be mindful affects tinnitus is unknown.

 

In today’s Research News article “I Wasn’t at War With the Noise: How Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Changes Patients’ Experiences of Tinnitus.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00483/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1313244_69_Psycho_20200428_arts_A), Marks and colleagues recruited adults with tinnitus who participated in a study of the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for tinnitus. They were questioned with semi-structured interviews on the MBCT program and its effects on themselves and their tinnitus. The interview responses were analyzed with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

 

The previous study that the subjects participated in demonstrated that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) significantly reduced tinnitus severity, catastrophizing, and fear and significantly increased their acceptance of tinnitus. The participants responses in the structured interviews were found to reflect 4 different themes. First, they reported that they learned to relate to tinnitus in a new way, specifically to cease fighting and attempting to control their tinnitus and instead to allow and accept it and turn toward it. Second, MBCT reduced their emotional distress and improved their well-being. Third, MBCT improved their relationships with others and themselves increasing understanding and compassion. Finally, MBCT improved attitudes that supported change including open mindedness, motivation, and balancing realism with gentleness.

 

These results suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) improved tinnitus symptoms by changing the subjects attitudes and perspective. This is exactly what MBCT is designed to do. MBCT involves mindfulness training and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. It would appear from the participants’ reports that the training indeed was effective in changing how they experienced and related to their tinnitus and this, in turn, improved their symptoms.

 

So, mindfulness training changes patients’ relationship to tinnitus and improves symptoms.

 

the rest of me has benefitted… You can’t catastrophize over everything else but manage it with your tinnitus. So it’s holistic… the big thing is the not catastrophizing…” – Study Participant

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Marks E, Smith P and McKenna L (2020) I Wasn’t at War With the Noise: How Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Changes Patients’ Experiences of Tinnitus. Front. Psychol. 11:483. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00483

 

Abstract

Objectives: Intrusive tinnitus is a challenging, life-changing experience for which traditional medical treatment does not yet have a cure. However, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for tinnitus (MBCT-t) is effective in reducing tinnitus-related distress, disability and intrusiveness. It is a priority to understand patients’ experience of MBCT-t and active processes which they regarded as underpinning the changes they experienced. Semi-structured interviews were conducted 6 months after participants had completed MBCT as part of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), with a focus on exploring their experiences of the course, what they felt had changed and how they felt such changes had occurred.

Methods: Nine participants took part and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyze the interview transcripts.

Results: Four overarching themes emerged: (1) Relating to Tinnitus in a New Way, (2) Holistic Benefits, (3) Connection, Kindness and Compassion, and (4) Factors Supporting Engagement and Change.

Conclusion: All participants reported benefits from MBCT-t, based on a radically new relationship with tinnitus. It was no longer characterized by “fighting it” and was instead based on “allowing” tinnitus to be present. Changes were supported by the development of open, stable, present-moment awareness and attitudes of equanimity, kindness, and compassion. Practices encouraging focus on sound (including tinnitus) were challenging, but essential to learning this new way of being with tinnitus. MBCT-t had a huge range of benefits including reduced distress and enhanced wellbeing. The group nature of MBCT-t was an integral part of the therapeutic process. A number of clinical and research implications are discussed.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00483/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1313244_69_Psycho_20200428_arts_A

 

Reduce the Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with Mindfulness

Reduce the Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Normally I would have lost my keys and then gone tearing through the house looking for them. ( . . . ) And then ( . . . ) completely losing yourself in that. And these days that just doesn’t happen anymore. When I lose something now it’s more like, “okay, then let’s just look for it,” and I go and stand calmly in my room and then at some point I find it.” – Study Participant

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is most commonly found in children, but for about half it persists into adulthood. It’s estimated that about 5% of the adult population has ADHD. Hence, this is a very large problem that can produce inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and emotional issues, and reduce quality of life. The most common treatment is drugs, like methylphenidate, Ritalin, which helps reducing symptoms in about 30% of the people with ADHD. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the drugs appears to be markedly reduced after the first year. In addition, the drugs often have troublesome side effects, can be addictive, and can readily be abused. So, drugs, at present, do not appear to be a good solution, only affecting some, only for a short time, and with unwanted side effects.

 

There are indications that mindfulness practices may be an effective treatment for ADHD. It makes sense that it should be, as the skills and abilities strengthened by mindfulness practices are identical to those that are defective in ADHD,  attentionimpulse controlexecutive functionemotion control, and mood improvement. In addition, unlike drugs, they are relatively safe interventions that have minimal troublesome side effects. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a mindfulness practice that contains Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and assigned homework. During therapy the patient is trained in mindfulness and to investigate and alter aberrant thought patterns.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Feasibility, Effectiveness, and Process of Change of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Adults With ADHD: A Mixed-Method Pilot Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081523/), Janssen and colleagues recruited adults diagnosed with ADHD who had completed an 8-week program of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Training occurred in weekly 2.5-hour sessions along with 30 minutes per day of home practice. They were measured before and after training for mindfulness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, behavioral regulation, metacognition, self-compassion, general functioning, and health status. They also participated in a focus group 3 months after training.

 

Only 16% of the patients failed to complete training. They found that in comparison to baseline, following Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) training there were significant increases in mental health, self-compassion, total executive functioning, including metacognition including the self-monitor, working memory, plan/organize, task monitor and organization of materials subscales and significant reductions in total ADHD symptoms, including inattention and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. The analysis of the focus group data indicated that the participants believed that they improved due to increased ability to self-regulate.

 

Although this study did not have a comparison, control, condition, the results are similar to those found in prior controlled studies that mindfulness training improves the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study demonstrated that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) training was feasible and acceptable for the treatment of adult patients with ADHD and that the treatment improved their symptoms, mental health, cognitive ability, and the patients’ ability to regulate their own behavior.

 

So, reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with mindfulness.

 

“I can spend the whole day in a haze, but when we focus consciously on our breathing, I’m able to turn it around. I also have that during meetings or discussions. If I’ve had enough at a certain point and I notice my mind wandering off, I think about the breathing and I’m able to be more present again.” – Study Participant

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Janssen, L., de Vries, A. M., Hepark, S., & Speckens, A. (2020). The Feasibility, Effectiveness, and Process of Change of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Adults With ADHD: A Mixed-Method Pilot Study. Journal of attention disorders, 24(6), 928–942. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054717727350

 

Abstract

Objective: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a promising psychosocial intervention for adult ADHD. The feasibility and effectiveness of an adapted MBCT program is explored, together with the possible process of change. Method: Mixed-method study with 31 ADHD patients participating in an adapted MBCT program. Self-report questionnaires on ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, mindfulness skills, self-compassion, patient functioning, and health status were administered before and after MBCT. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 patients. Results: A modest drop-out of n = 5 (16%) was found. MBCT resulted in a significant reduction of ADHD symptoms and improvements of executive functioning, self-compassion, and mental health. Qualitative analysis provided insight in facilitators and barriers participants experienced, and their process of change. Conclusion: The adapted MBCT program seemed to be feasible for adults with ADHD and preliminary evidence for the effectiveness is shown. An adequately powered Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) is needed to further examine the effectiveness of MBCT for ADHD.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081523/

 

Reduce Body Weight and Improve Health in the Obese with Mindfulness

Reduce Body Weight and Improve Health in the Obese with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Mindfulness practice helps individuals develop skills for self-regulation by improving awareness of emotional and sensory cues, which are also important in altering one’s relationship with food.” – Sunil Daniel

 

Obesity has become an epidemic in the industrialized world. In the U.S. the incidence of obesity, defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above has more than doubled over the last 35 years to currently around 35% of the population, while two thirds of the population are considered overweight or obese (BMI > 25). Obesity has been found to shorten life expectancy by eight years and extreme obesity by 14 years. This occurs because obesity is associated with cardiovascular problems such as coronary heart disease and hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and others.

 

Obviously, there is a need for effective treatments to obese individuals. But, despite copious research and a myriad of dietary and exercise programs, there still is no safe and effective treatment. Mindfulness is known to be associated with lower risk for obesityalter eating behavior and improve health in obesity. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)  involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy That is designed to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. This suggests that MBCT may be an effective treatment for overeating and obesity alone or in combination with other therapies.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy on weight loss, improvement of hypertension and attentional bias to eating cues in overweight people.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031128/), Alamout and colleagues recruited women who were adult (aged 30-50) and overweight (BMI of 25-30) and randomly assigned them to receive either no treatment or a diet providing 800 Kcal less than their normal intake, or the diet plus once a week for 2 hours for 8 weeks Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) along with daily home practice. They were measured before and after treatment and 4 weeks later for body size and blood pressure. Attention bias was measured by asking participants to respond as quickly as they can to words and pictures that were food related or neutral.

 

They found that after the intervention there was a significant reduction in body weight and body mass index in the diet groups in comparison to the no treatment control. But, the groups that received diet plus Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) had significantly greater reductions that were maintained 4 weeks after treatment. Attentional bias toward food cues and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were significantly reduced in the diet plus MBCT group only and these reductions were maintained 4 weeks after treatment.

 

These findings are interesting and potentially significant. Weight loss is difficult to attain and even more difficult to maintain after the cessation of treatment. The findings suggest that the addition of mindfulness training to diet therapy greatly enhances the benefits. It has been previously demonstrated that mindfulness training reduces blood pressure. The reductions in blood pressure observed in the present study suggest that the mindfulness training reduces the responses to stress. It has been shown that stress can promote food intake. So, the reduction in stress responding may make it easier to maintain the diet.

 

The combination of diet and mindfulness training appears to alter how overweight women respond to food related cues. This may, in part, be responsible for the increased effectiveness of diet plus mindfulness training. It may make it easier for the women to refrain from responding to food cues and thereby be better able to stay on the diet. In other words, it makes them less responsive to temptation.

 

So, reduce body weight and improve health in the obese with mindfulness.

 

Adults with overweight or obesity who participated in mindfulness-based intervention experienced at least 3% weight loss that persisted through follow-up, with a reduction in disordered eating behaviors.” – Kimberly Carriere

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Alamout, M. M., Rahmanian, M., Aghamohammadi, V., Mohammadi, E., & Nasiri, K. (2019). Effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy on weight loss, improvement of hypertension and attentional bias to eating cues in overweight people. International journal of nursing sciences, 7(1), 35–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnss.2019.12.010

 

Abstract

Objectives

Prevalence rates of overweight and obesity are dramatically ever-increasing across the world. Therefore, this study was to evaluate the effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) on weight loss, hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues in a group of women affected with this condition.

Methods

A total of 45 participants were selected out of women referring to the Nutrition and Diet Therapy Clinic affiliated to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran, and then randomized into three groups of 15. The first experimental group was subjected to an energy-restricted diet therapy together with MBCT during 8 sessions, the second group took the diet therapy alone, and the third group received no intervention. Body mass index (BMI), hypertension, and attentional bias towards food cues were correspondingly evaluated before, at the end, and four weeks after the completion of the interventions.

Results

The results of this study revealed that MBCT, along with diet therapy, had been significantly more effective in weight loss, decrease in BMI, lower systolic blood pressure (SBP), and attentional bias towards food cues compared with the diet therapy alone (P ≤ 0.01). MBCT had no significant impact on the decline in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in participants in the follow-up phase.

Conclusion

This study demonstrated that MBCT along with the conventional diet therapy was more effective in weight loss, decrease in BMI, hypertension control, as well as attentional bias towards food cues than the diet therapy alone.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031128/

 

Improve Depression During the Perinatal Period with Mindfulness

Improve Depression During the Perinatal Period with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Pregnancy is a challenging terrain for everyone to navigate. And if you are entering that space with some history of depression, it can be particularly challenging.” – Sona Dimidjian

 

The period of pregnancy is a time of intense physiological and psychological change. Anxiety, depression, and fear are quite common during pregnancy. More than 20 percent of pregnant women have an anxiety disorder, depressive symptoms, or both during pregnancy. A debilitating childbirth fear has been estimated to affect about 6% or pregnant women and 13% are sufficiently afraid to postpone pregnancy. It is difficult to deal with these emotions under the best of conditions but in combinations with the stresses of pregnancy can turn what could be a joyous experience of creating a human life into a horrible worrisome, torment.

 

The psychological health of pregnant women has consequences for fetal development, birthing, and consequently, child outcomes. Depression during pregnancy is associated with premature delivery and low birth weight. Hence, it is clear that there is a need for methods to treat depression, and anxiety during pregnancy. Since the fetus can be negatively impacted by drugs, it would be preferable to find a treatment that did not require drugs. Mindfulness training has been shown to improve anxiety and depression normally and to relieve maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy.

 

Mindfulness practices have been found to help with coping with loss and its consequent grief.  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy That is designed to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Perinatal Women with Depression or Bipolar Spectrum Disorder.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7021274/), Miklowitz and colleagues recruited women with major depressive or bipolar disorders who were either pregnant, within 1 year postpartum, or trying to get pregnant. They were provided with weekly 2-hour sessions for 8 weeks of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). They were measured before and after treatment and at 1 and 6 months later for psychological symptom severity, reoccurrence of major depression, mindfulness, and acceptability of treatment.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline, after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there were significant reduction in depression and increases in mindfulness. The women on average moved from mildly to minimally depressed categories. These improvements were maintained 1 and 6 months later. The women who had major depressive disorder had significantly greater improvements in depression than the women with bipolar disorder.

 

These results suggest that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an effective treatment for depression in perinatal women with lasting benefits. This should help relieve the women’s suffering and help them to be better mothers to their children. MBCT has been shown to be effective for a wide variety of patients with depression. The present study increases the types of depression that are known to respond positively to MBCT.

 

So, improve depression during the perinatal period with mindfulness.

 

“mindfulness training could help improve mothers’ experience of labor and reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression.” – Jenn Knudsen

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Miklowitz, D. J., Semple, R. J., Hauser, M., Elkun, D., Weintraub, M. J., & Dimidjian, S. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Perinatal Women with Depression or Bipolar Spectrum Disorder. Cognitive therapy and research, 39(5), 590–600. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-015-9681-9

 

Abstract

The perinatal period is a high-risk time for mood deterioration among women vulnerable to depression. This study examined feasibility, acceptability, and improvement associated with mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in perinatal women with major depressive disorder (MDD) or bipolar spectrum disorder (BSD). Following a diagnostic evaluation, 39 perinatal women with a lifetime history of MDD (n = 27) or BSD (n = 12) enrolled in an 8-week program of MBCT classes (2 h each) that incorporated meditation, yoga, and mood regulation strategies. Participants were pregnant (n = 12), planning pregnancy (n = 11), or up to 1-year postpartum (n = 16). Participants were self-referred and most had subthreshold mood symptoms. Assessments of depression, (hypo)mania, and anxiety were obtained by interview and self-report at baseline, post-treatment and at 1- and 6-month post-treatment. Women with a history of MDD were more likely to complete the classes than women with BSD. Of 32 women who completed the classes, 7 (21.9 %) had a major depressive episode during the 6-month post-treatment follow-up. On average, participants with MDD reported improvements in depression from pre- to post-treatment. Mood improvement was not observed in the BSD group. In the full sample, improvements in depression symptoms across time points were associated with increasing mindful tendency scores. This study was limited by its uncontrolled design, heterogeneous sample, and questionnaire-based assessment of mindfulness skills. MBCT may be an important component of care for perinatal women with histories of major depression. Its applicability to perinatal women with BSD is unclear.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7021274/

 

Cost Effectively Improve Cancer Patients’ Quality of Life with Mindfulness

Cost Effectively Improve Cancer Patients’ Quality of Life with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“People don’t ask to be diagnosed with cancer, but they’re given an opportunity to, in a real sense, experience the vividness and the exquisiteness of the moment.” – Linda Carlson

 

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer has a huge impact on most people. Feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear are very common and are normal responses to this life-changing and potentially life-ending experience. These feeling can result from changes in body image, changes to family and work roles, feelings of grief at these losses, and physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, or fatigue. People might also fear death, suffering, pain, or all the unknown things that lie ahead. So, coping with the emotions and stress of a cancer diagnosis is a challenge and there are no simple treatments for these psychological sequelae of cancer diagnosis.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to help with cancer recovery and help to alleviate many of the residual physical and psychological symptoms, including fatiguestress,  sleep disturbancefear, and anxiety and depression. The effectiveness of mindfulness training for the psychological symptoms of cancer has been established. But whether it is cost-effective relative to other treatments has not been investigated.

 

The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a trained therapist. This results in costs that many parents can’t afford. In addition, the participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with parents’ busy schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. As an alternative, mindfulness trainings over the internet have been developed. These have tremendous advantages in making training schedules much more flexible, and eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations. But the question arises as to the cost effectiveness of these online trainings.

 

In today’s Research News article “Cost-utility of individual internet-based and face-to-face Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy compared with treatment as usual in reducing psychological distress in cancer patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027540/), Compen and colleagues recruited past or present cancer patients with high anxiety levels and randomly assigned them to be on a wait-list receiving treatment as usual or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) either delivered face-to-face or over the internet. Face-to-face MBCT occurred in 8 weekly 2.5-hour sessions with 45 minutes of daily practice at home. The internet version had similar content but was delivered asynchronously personally with email exchanges with therapists.

Costs were calculated by calculating the costs of normal treatment as usual as well as indirect costs from absenteeism, productivity losses etc. and the costs of delivering the services. Quality of life was assessed for each patient.

 

They found that the costs of delivery of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was equivalent between face-to-face and internet delivery. The productivity losses and total costs were significantly less with both MBCT deliveries compared to treatment as usual. Quality of life was significantly higher with both MBCT deliveries and was maintained at a 9-month follow-up.

 

The results suggest that delivering Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) either face-to-face or over the internet reduces total costs of treatment and work-related losses and improved the quality of life of cancer patients. This suggests that MBCT is a cost effective way of delivering treatment to cancer patients, making their lives better.

 

So, cost effectively improve cancer patients’ quality of life with mindfulness.

 

Cancer is a traumatic event that changes a person’s life. Utilizing mindfulness tools can provide peace and hope. Practicing mindfulness on a daily basis can assist with long term effects of happiness and positivity. – Erin Murphy-Wilczek

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Compen, F., Adang, E., Bisseling, E., van der Lee, M., & Speckens, A. (2020). Cost-utility of individual internet-based and face-to-face Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy compared with treatment as usual in reducing psychological distress in cancer patients. Psycho-oncology, 29(2), 294–303. https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.5246

 

Abstract

Objective

It was previously determined that group‐based face‐to‐face Mindfulness‐Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and individual internet‐based MBCT (eMBCT) are equally efficacious compared with treatment as usual (TAU) in reducing psychological distress. In this study, the incremental cost‐utility of both interventions compared with TAU was assessed.

Methods

This cost‐utility study included 245 self‐referred heterogeneous cancer patients with psychological distress who were randomized to MBCT, eMBCT or TAU. Healthcare costs and (informal) work‐related productivity losses were assessed by interview. Outcomes were expressed in EuroQol‐5D‐3L utility scores and quality‐adjusted life years (QALY). An economic evaluation with a time‐horizon of 3 months was conducted from the societal perspective in the intention‐to‐treat sample. In addition, secondary explorative analyses of costs and quality of life during the 9‐month follow‐up were conducted based on linear extrapolation of TAU.

Results

Paid work‐related productivity losses and societal costs were lower in both intervention conditions compared with TAU during the 3‐month intervention period. Moreover, quality of life (utility scores) improved in eMBCT versus TAU (Cohen’s d: .54) and MBCT versus TAU (.53). At a willingness to pay of €20000 per QALY, the mean incremental net monetary benefit was €1916 (SD=€783) in eMBCT and €2365 (SD=€796) in MBCT versus TAU. Exploration of costs demonstrated an equal pattern of eMBCT and MBCT being superior to TAU. Quality of life at 9‐month follow‐up remained improved in both interventions.

Conclusions

Results indicate that eMBCT and MBCT are cost‐saving treatments whilst simultaneously improving quality of life for distressed cancer patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7027540/