New psychological therapies for irritable bowel syndrome: mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy

The current goal of treatment in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) focuses primarily on symptom management and attempts to improve quality of life | Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

cloud-705732_960_720.jpg

Several treatments are at the disposal of physicians; lifestyle and dietary management, pharmacological treatments and psychological interventions are the most used and recommended. Psychological treatments have been proposed as viable alternatives or compliments to existing care models. Most forms of psychological therapies studied have been shown to be helpful in reducing symptoms and in improving the psychological component of anxiety/depression and health-related quality of life.

According to current NICE/NHS guidelines, physicians should consider referral for psychological treatment in patients who do not respond to pharmacotherapy for a period of 12 months and develop a continuing symptom profile (described as refractory irritable bowel syndrome).

A review of mind/body approaches to irritable bowel syndrome has therefore suggested that alternate strategies targeting mechanisms other than thought content change might be helpful, specifically mindfulness and acceptance-based approaches. In this article we review these new psychological treatment approaches in an attempt to raise awareness of alternative treatments to gastroenterologists that treat this clinical syndrome.

Full reference: Sánchez, B.S. et al. (2017) New psychological therapies for irritable bowel syndrome: mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas. Vol. 109 (No. 9) pp. 648-657

Advertisements

Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Adolescents with Chronic Illness

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have emerged as a promising strategy for individuals with a chronic illness, given their versatility in targeting both physical and mental health outcomes. However, research to date has focused on adult or community-based populations | The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Objectives: To systematically review and critically appraise MBIs in clinical pediatric samples living with chronic physical illness.

Results: Of a total 4710 articles, 8 articles met inclusion criteria. All studies were small , included only outpatient adolescent samples, and focused on feasibility and acceptability of MBI; only 1 study included a comparison group (n = 1). No studies included online components or remote attendance. All studies found that MBI was acceptable to adolescents, whereas feasibility and implementation outcomes were mixed. Many studies were underpowered to detect significant differences post-MBI, but MBI did demonstrate improvements in emotional distress in several studies.

Conclusions and Implications of Key Findings: The literature on MBIs is preliminary in nature, focusing on adapting and developing MBI for adolescents. Although MBIs appear to be a promising approach to coping with symptoms related to chronic illness in adolescents, future research with adequate sample sizes and rigorous research designs is warranted.

Full reference: Ahola Kohut, S. et al (2017) Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Clinical Samples of Adolescents with Chronic Illness: A Systematic Review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Vol. 23(no. 8) pp. 581-589.

The role of trait mindfulness in quality of life and asthma control among adolescents with asthma

The current study focused on the role of trait mindfulness in asthma-related quality of life (QoL) and asthma control in adolescent asthma patients | Journal of Psychosomatic Research

In this cross-sectional study, questionnaire data of 94 adolescents with asthma that were prescribed daily asthma medication were included. Two Structural Equation Models (SEMs), a direct model and an indirect model, were tested.

We found that trait mindfulness was directly related to asthma-related QoL, but not to asthma control. The relationship between trait mindfulness and asthma-related QoL was explained by asthma-specific, but not by general stress. Furthermore, an indirect relation from mindfulness to asthma control via asthma-specific stress was found.

Cross-sectional evidence for a relation between mindfulness and asthma-related QoL is found. These findings may point to the possibility that an intervention aimed at increasing mindfulness could be a promising tool to improve asthma-related QoL in adolescents via a decrease in asthma-specific stress.

Full reference: Cillessen, L. et al. (2017) The role of trait mindfulness in quality of life and asthma control among adolescents with asthma. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Vol. 99 (August) pp. 143–148.

Mindfulness Meditation for Pediatric Chronic Pain

Waelde, L.C. et al (2017) Children. 4, 32.

Despite advances in psychological interventions for pediatric chronic pain, there has been little research examining mindfulness meditation for these conditions. This study presents data from a pilot clinical trial of a six-week manualized mindfulness meditation intervention offered to 20 adolescents aged 13–17 years.

Mindfulness meditation shows promise as a feasible and acceptable intervention for youth with chronic pain. Future research should optimize intervention components and determine treatment efficacy

The full article is available to download here

Mindfulness and asthma symptoms

Shi, L. et al. Journal of Asthma | Published online: 1 May 2017

Introduction: Given the known link between asthma and stress as well as the link between mindfulness and stress, we explore the possible association between trait mindfulness and asthma-related diagnosis and symptoms with a cross-sectional study.

Discussion: This is the first study to suggest a link between trait mindfulness and asthma. Our finding provides evidence that people with higher level of mindfulness are less likely to have had an asthma diagnosis and less likely to have the symptoms of persistent dry cough and wheezing.

Read the full abstract here

Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Hilton, L. et al. (2017) Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 51(2) pp. 199–213

girls-2088457_960_720.jpg

Background: Chronic pain patients increasingly seek treatment through mindfulness meditation. This study aims to synthesize evidence on efficacy and safety of mindfulness meditation interventions for the treatment of chronic pain in adults.

Conclusions: While mindfulness meditation improves pain and depression symptoms and quality of life, additional well-designed, rigorous, and large-scale RCTs are needed to decisively provide estimates of the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for chronic pain.

Read the full article here

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.

Read the full abstract here