For Whom Does Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Work?

Nyklíček, I. & Irrmischer, M. (2017) Mindfulness. doi:10.1007/s12671-017-0687-0

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The aim of the present study was to examine potentially moderating effects of personality characteristics regarding changes in anxious and depressed mood associated with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), controlling for socio-demographic factors.

Meditation-naïve participants from the general population self-presenting with psychological stress complaints (n = 167 participants, 70% women, mean age 45.8 ± 9.3 years) were assessed in a longitudinal investigation of change in mood before and after the intervention and at a 3-month follow-up. Participants initially scoring high on neuroticism showed stronger decreases in both anxious and depressed mood (both p < 0.001). However, when controlled for baseline mood, only the time by neuroticism interaction effect on anxiety remained significant (p = 0.001), reflecting a smaller decrease in anxiety between pre- and post-intervention but a larger decrease in anxiety between post-intervention and follow-up in those with higher baseline neuroticism scores.

Most personality factors did not show moderating effects, when controlled for baseline mood. Only neuroticism showed to be associated with delayed benefit. Results are discussed in the context of findings from similar research using more traditional cognitive-behavioral interventions.

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An adapted mindfulness intervention for people with dementia in care homes

Clarke, A.C. et al. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Published online: 7 February 2017

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Objective: Depression and anxiety are common in dementia. There is a need to develop effective psychosocial interventions. This study sought to develop a group-based adapted mindfulness programme for people with mild to moderate dementia in care homes and to determine its feasibility and potential benefits.

Conclusions: The intervention was feasible in terms of recruitment, retention, attrition and acceptability and was associated with significant positive changes in quality of life. A fully powered randomised controlled trial is required.

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Trait Mindfulness Attenuates the Adverse Psychological Impact of Stigma on Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Chan, K.K.S. & Lam, C.B. Mindfulness (2017). doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0675-9

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Stigma attached to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is prevalent, but few studies have examined its psychological impact on parents of children with ASD and the potential protective factors in this family context. The present study aimed to test the associations of public stigma and courtesy stigma with depression, anxiety, and caregiving burden among parents of children with ASD and to explore whether trait mindfulness would moderate these associations.

Cross-sectional questionnaire data were collected from 424 parents of children with ASD residing in Hong Kong, China. Hierarchical regressions revealed significant interactions between public stigma and trait mindfulness and between courtesy stigma and trait mindfulness in predicting depression, anxiety, and caregiving burden.

Our findings contributed to the theoretical literature by highlighting the adverse impact of both public stigma and courtesy stigma on the mental health and caregiving experience of parents of children with ASD, as well as the potential protective effects of trait mindfulness in such processes. Our findings also had important practical implications for the design of effective interventions for this stigmatized group of families.

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Mindfulness Therapy Intervention for Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis.

Aivaliotis, V. et al. (2017) Digestive diseases and sciences. 62(2) pp. 502-509

Image shows photomicrograph of calcified debris in distended ducts due to pancreatitis 

Patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP) have substantially impaired quality of life (QOL) both physically and mentally. Mindfulness therapy is a form of treatment that has been shown to be beneficial in many medical conditions but has not been evaluated in the CP patient population. The aims of this study were (1) to test the feasibility and usability of a novel telephone-based mindfulness therapy service for patients with CP and (2) to determine whether there was any effect on CP quality of life.

Our telephone-based mindfulness therapy service represents a feasible and easily usable treatment adjunct for patients with CP, which may provide benefit in QOL by improving mental health-related domains.

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Potential benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy

Braeken, M. et al. (2017) Psychophysiology. 54(2) pp. 279-288

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Mindfulness is known to decrease psychological distress. Possible benefits in pregnancy have rarely been explored. Our aim was to examine the prospective association of mindfulness with autonomic nervous system function during pregnancy and with later infant social-emotional development.

Mindfulness in pregnancy was associated with ANS changes likely to be adaptive and with better social-emotional offspring development. Interventions to increase mindfulness during pregnancy might improve maternal and offspring health, but randomized trials are needed to demonstrate this

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Effects of combined physical exercise, yoga, and mindfulness meditations for stress relieve in employees

de Bruin, E. et al. (2017) Mindfulness. 8(1) pp. 204-217

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Work-related stress and associated illness and burnout is rising in western society, with now as much as almost a quarter of European and half of USA’s employees estimated to be at the point of burnout. Mindfulness meditation, yoga, and physical exercise have all shown beneficial effects for work-related stress and illness. This proof of concept study assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of the newly developed Mindful2Work training, a combination of physical exercise, restorative yoga, and mindfulness meditations, delivered in six weekly group sessions plus a follow-up session.

To conclude, the newly developed Mindful2Work training seems very feasible, and acceptable, and although no control group was included, the large effects of Mindful2Work are highly promising.

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Mindful aging: The effects of regular brief mindfulness practice in older adults

Malinowski, P. et al. (2017) Mindfulness. 8(1) pp. 78-94

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There is growing interest in the potential benefits of mindfulness meditation practices in terms of counteracting some of the cognitive effects associated with aging. Pursuing this question, the aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of mindfulness training on executive control and emotion regulation in older adults, by means of studying behavioral and electrophysiological changes.

Overall, the results indicate that engaging in mindfulness meditation training improves the maintenance of goal-directed visuospatial attention and may be a useful strategy for counteracting cognitive decline associated with aging.

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