Improve the Psychological Well-Being of the Chronically Ill with Yoga

Improve the Psychological Well-Being of the Chronically Ill with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Yoga can reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue in people living with chronic illness, and it can improve immune function. Yoga can also stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of the nervous system that helps you to rest and heal).” – Kayla Kurin

 

Chronic diseases are long-term illnesses that last more than a year, limit the individual’s ability to conduct their lives, and require medical attention. These include cancer, cardiovascular diseases, digestive diseases, skin diseases, diabetes, pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases, arthritis, chronic pain, obesity, and mental illness. Chronic diseases affect approximately 40% of the total adult population. As such they put a tremendous strain on the medical systems not to mention on individuals and families.

 

People with chronic diseases often also suffer from chronic fatigue, pain, stress, and mood disorders especially depression. They also have difficulty working and have a decreased quality of life. So, it is very important to find effective means of treating patients with chronic illnesses. Yoga practice has been found to be helpful for patients with many of these illnesses. But it is important to further study the effectiveness of yoga practice for patients with chronic illnesses.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mental Wellbeing, Quality of Life, and Perception of Chronic Illness in Yoga-Experienced Compared with Yoga-Naïve Patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6542302/), Telles and colleagues recruited patients with chronic noncommunicable diseases and asked if they practiced yoga. They were measured for their perception of their disease, mental well-being, and quality of life, including psychological, environmental, and total facets.

 

They found that the experienced yoga practitioners had significantly greater mental well-being, perceived control over their illnesses, and in their psychological, environmental, and total quality of life. They also found that the longer that the patients had been practicing yoga the higher the scores on perception of their illness, mental well-being, and quality of life.

 

These findings are not due to active manipulation and it is possible that patients who chose to practice yoga are characteristically different from patients who do not. These findings need to be replicated in a randomized controlled trial. With this caveat in mind the results suggest that yoga practice is beneficial for patients with chronic noncommunicable diseases, improving their perception of their illness, mental well-being and quality of life. Chronic diseases are difficult to deal with. So, it is important to find the potential of yoga practice to help relieve at least some of their suffering.

 

So, improve the psychological well-being of the chronically ill with yoga.

 

“a consistent practice of yoga and meditation often helps people who are dealing with illness by reducing stress, alleviating symptoms of the disease and side effects of medication, boosting the immune system, and increasing overall comfort.” – Julie Eisenberg

 

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

 

Telles, S., Gupta, R. K., Kumar, A., Pal, D. K., Tyagi, D., & Balkrishna, A. (2019). Mental Wellbeing, Quality of Life, and Perception of Chronic Illness in Yoga-Experienced Compared with Yoga-Naïve Patients. Medical science monitor basic research, 25, 153–163. doi:10.12659/MSMBR.914663

 

Abstract

Background

Perception of chronic illness and a positive outlook improve recovery, and yoga can improve wellbeing. This study aimed to compare perception, mental wellbeing, and quality of life in yoga-experienced compared with yoga-naïve patients with chronic illness and to determine whether the duration of yoga practice in the yoga-experienced group had any correlation with the perception of illness, mental wellbeing, and quality of life.

Material/Methods

A cross-sectional comparative study recruited 419 patients with chronic non-communicable disease. Yoga-experienced patients (n=150) (mean age, 41.9±13.6 years) and yoga-naïve patients (n=269) (mean age, 41.2±12.6 years) were assessed for the perception of their illness, mental wellbeing, and quality of life using the Warwick-Edinburgh mental wellbeing scale (WEMWBS) and the World Health Organization quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF) self-reporting questionnaire.

Results

The yoga-experienced group had significantly increased mental wellbeing, personal control as a dimension of their perception of illness, and psychological and environmental quality of life compared with the yoga-naïve group (all, p<0.05), when comparisons were made using the Mann-Whitney U test. The duration of yoga practised in months was positively-correlated with mental wellbeing and different aspects of quality of life. There was a negative correlation with the perception of illness suggesting that the illness was perceived to be less severe (all, p<0.05) when correlations were made using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.

Conclusions

In patients with chronic illness, yoga improved mental wellbeing, aspects of quality of life, and resulted in a positive perception of illness.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6542302/

 

Improve the Quality of Life of Parents of Children with Chronic Diseases with Mindfulness

Improve the Quality of Life of Parents of Children with Chronic Diseases with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness meditation is extremely good at relieving anxiety, stress, depression, exhaustion and irritability. Memory improves, reaction times become faster and mental and physical stamina increase. In short, regular meditators are happier and more contented than average, while being far less likely to suffer from psychological distress.” – Danny Penman

 

There is a tremendous demand for caregiving in the US. It is estimated that over 65 million (29% of the adult population) provides care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, averaging 20 hours per week spent caring for their loved ones. This caregiving comes at a cost to the caregiver. It exacts a toll on caregivers’ health and well-being and their quality of life. Caregiving has been associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety as well as higher use of psychoactive medications, poorer self-reported physical and mental health, compromised immune function, and increased mortality.

 

Providing care for a child with a chronic illness can be particularly challenging. About 27% of children in the U.S. has a chronic illness. Caring for the child requires that the parent be able to deal with stress, to regulate their own emotions, and to be sensitive and attentive to their child. These skills are exactly those that are developed in mindfulness training. It improves the psychological and physiological responses to stress. It improves emotion regulation. And it improves the ability to maintain attention and focus in the face of high levels of distraction. The application of mindfulness skills to the parents of children with a chronic illness is relatively new. So, it would seem reasonable to investigate this further.

 

In today’s Research News article “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness for Health-Related Quality of Life: Comparing Treatments for Parents of Children with Chronic Conditions – A Pilot Feasibility Study.” See summary below or view the full text of the study at:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5301303/

Anclair and colleagues perform a pilot feasibility study of the application of Mindfulness training and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to improve the health-related quality of life of parents with children with chronic diseases. They recruited parents of children with chronic diseases, obtained baseline measures and then randomly assigned them to receive either a group based, 8 week, once a week for 2 hours, Mindfulness training or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. They were measured before and after treatment for satisfaction with life, including spare time, relation to child, relation to partner, relation to friends, and satisfaction with work, and health-related quality of life, including physical functioning, role functioning – physical causes, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role functioning – emotional causes and mental health. These were summarized in two categories, physical component summary and mental component summary.

 

They found that both treatments produced significant improvements in the mental components but not the physical components of health-related quality of life. Significant improvements in the mental health components of vitality, social functioning, role functioning – emotional causes and mental health were apparent. In addition, both groups demonstrated significant improvements in life satisfaction, including spare time, relation to child, and relation to partner. There were no significant differences between the improvements produced by mindfulness training or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Hence both treatments appeared to be effective in improving the health-related quality of life and life satisfaction of parents with children with chronic diseases.

 

It should be noted that this was a pilot feasibility study and did not contain a no-treatment control. So, caution must be exercised in reaching conclusions. But the results suggest that both types of therapy improve life satisfaction and the mental and social components of health-related quality of life while not affecting the physical dimensions. The results are interesting and important enough to justify implementing a large-scale randomized clinical trial. Since the numbers of children with chronic diseases is huge, finding ways to help ease the burden on their parents may have major mental health consequences.

 

So, improve the quality of life of parents of children with chronic diseases with mindfulness.

 

“Overall, results from existing studies suggest that mindfulness interventions may be beneficial for reducing symptoms and associated problems through relaxation for many chronic illnesses, including epilepsy, fibromyalgia, headaches or migraines, cancer, and asthma.” – Cynthia Riccio

 

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

Anclair, M., Hjärthag, F., & Hiltunen, A. J. (2017). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness for Health-Related Quality of Life: Comparing Treatments for Parents of Children with Chronic Conditions – A Pilot Feasibility Study. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health : CP & EMH, 13, 1–9. http://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901713010001

 

Abstract

Background:

Research on parents of children with chronic conditions has shown that this parent group frequently suffers from psychological problems such as deteriorating life quality and stress-related disorders.

Objective:

The present feasibility study focuses on Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) and life satisfaction of parents of children with chronic conditions.

Method:

The study was conducted using a repeated measures design and applied either group-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT; n = 10) or a group-based mindfulness programme (MF; n = 9). The study participants were wait-listed for six months.

Results:

The results indicate improvements for participants in both treatment groups regarding certain areas of HRQOL and life satisfaction. After eight group therapy sessions, parents in the two treatment groups significantly improved their Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores as well as their scores on the mental subscales Vitality, Social functioning, Role emotional and Mental health. In addition, some of the physical subscales, Role physical, Bodily pain and General health, showed considerable improvement for the MF group. When testing for clinical significance by comparing the samples with mean values of a norm population, the MCS scores were significantly lower at pre-measurements, but no significant differences were observed post-measurement. For the Physical component summary (PCS) scores, a significantly higher score was observed at post-measurement when compared to the norm population. Moreover, the results indicate improvement in life satisfaction regarding Spare time, Relation to child and Relation to partner.

Conclusion:

The study concludes that CBT and mindfulness may have a positive effect on areas of HRQOL and life satisfaction.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5301303/