BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS MEDITATION IN REDUCING BLOOD PRESSURE AND STRESS IN PATIENTS WITH ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION

Source: Journal of Hypertension

Objective: To evaluate the benefits of mindfulness meditation in the control ambulatory blood pressure (BP) and the impact of the intervention on levels of anxiety, stress and depression

Design and method: Randomized controlled trial of a Mediterranean population with high-normal BP or grade I hypertension. 24 and 18 patients [n = 42; mean age 56.5 (7.7) years; similar proportions of men and women] were enrolled to an intervention and a control group, respectively. For 2 hours/week over 8 weeks, the intervention group received mindfulness training and the control group attended health education talks. The patients attended pre-intervention (baseline), week 4, week 8 and week 20 (follow-up) visits.

Results: 61.9% of the patients had anxiety, 21.4% depression, 19.0% were smokers and 14.2% were diabetic (no significant differences between the 2 groups). At baseline, the intervention group had non-significant higher clinically measured BP values, whereas both groups had similar ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) values. At week 8, the intervention group had statistically significant lower ABPM scores than the control group [124/77 mmHg vs 126/80 mmHg (p < 0.05) and 108/65 mmHg vs 114/69 mmHg (p < 0.05) for 24-hour and night-time systolic BP (SBP), respectively] and also had lower clinically measured SBP values (130 mmHg vs 133 mmHg; p = 0.02). At week 20 (follow-up), means were lower in the intervention group (although not statistically significant). Improvements were observed in the intervention group in terms of being less judgemental, more accepting and less depressed. The results are shown in the table 1 and Figure 1.

Conclusions: By week 8 the mindfulness group had lower clinically measured SBP, 24-hour SBP, at-rest SBP and diastolic BP values.

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Does Emotional Intelligence Mediate the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents?

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Source: Frontiers in Psychology

Does Emotional Intelligence Mediate the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents? Is one of the questions asked a new study to examine if the development of emotional intelligence (EI) is one mechanism by which mindfulness confers its benefits on wellbeing. The research considers and examines the relationship between mindfulness, EI, anxiety and depression in an adolescent population.

High anxiety and depression are often observed in the Australian adolescent population, and if left untreated, can have long-term negative consequences impacting educational attainment and a range of important life outcomes. The utilization of mindfulness techniques has been associated with decreased anxiety and depression, but the underlying mechanisms for this is only beginning to be understood. Previous research with adult samples has suggested that the development of emotional intelligence (EI) may be one mechanism by which mindfulness confers its benefits on wellbeing.

This study is the first to examine the relation between mindfulness, EI, anxiety and depression in an adolescent population. It was hypothesised that EI would mediate the relationships between mindfulness and anxiety, as well as mindfulness and depression. The sample consisted of 108 adolescents from a public secondary school, aged between 13 and 15 years.

Participants completed an online self-report questionnaire which measured dispositional mindfulness, EI, anxiety and depression.

The results indicated that one subscale of EI – Emotional Recognition and Expression (ERE) mediated the relation between mindfulness and anxiety, while two subscales of EI – ERE and Emotional Management and Control (EMC) mediated the relation between mindfulness and depression.

Future research utilising a mindfulness intervention should be conducted to examine whether the use of mindfulness increases EI and decreases anxiety and depression in adolescents (Frontiers in Pyschology).

The article has been released ahead of the article’s publication- further details from Frontiers in Psychology.

What is learned from Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting Education? – Participants’ experiences.

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Photo by Joey Thompson on Unsplash

Source: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

BACKGROUND:

In the search for effective interventions aiming to prevent perinatal stress, depression and anxiety, we are evaluating a Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) Program. In this study we explore the participants’ experiences of the program.

METHOD:

This is a descriptive qualitative study with influences of phenomenology. The participants were expectant couples who participated in the program and the pregnant women had an increased risk of perinatal stress, anxiety and depression. Ten mothers and six fathers were interviewed in depth, at four to six months postpartum. Thematic analysis of the transcripts was conducted.

RESULTS:

The participants’ descriptions show a variety in how motivated they were and how much value they ascribed to MBCP. Those who experienced that they benefitted from the intervention described that they did so at an intra-personal level-with deeper self-knowledge and self-compassion; and on an inter-personal level-being helpful in relationships. Furthermore, they perceived that what they had learned from MBCP was helpful during childbirth and early parenting.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings demonstrate that most of the parents experienced MBCP as a valuable preparation for the challenges they met when they went through the life-changing events of becoming parents. The phenomenon of participating in the intervention, integrating the teachings and embodying mindfulness seems to develop inner resources that foster the development of wisdom.

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Effects of Mindful Parenting Training on Clinical Symptoms in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Parenting Stress: Randomized Controlled Trial.

Source: Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

BACKGROUND:

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at risk of impairment in multiple domains. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of mindful parenting training in reducing clinical symptoms in children with ADHD and parenting stress of their parents.

METHODS:

This randomized clinical trial was conducted on 2 groups (experimental and control) in 3 phases (pretest, posttest, and 8 weeks’ follow-up). Sixty children with ADHD, who had been referred by the child psychiatrist in the Iranian city of Kashan in the second half of the year 2016, were selected along with their mothers. The mothers were assigned to one of the 2 groups via permuted blocked randomization. The mothers completed the parenting stress index-short form (PSI-SF 36) and the Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham Parent and Teacher rating scale (SNAP-IV). All the children in both groups received pharmacotherapy with either risperidone or Ritalin. The intervention group received 8 sessions (1 session each week, each session lasting 90 minutes) of mindful parenting training based on the Kabat-Zinn protocol. The data were analyzed using SPSS, version 20, via the t test, χ2 test, repeated measures analysis of variance, and nonparametric Friedman test.

RESULTS:

This study showed a reduction in parenting stress, negative parent-child interactions, and children’s problematic characteristics in the mindful parenting training group compared with the control group in the posttest and follow-up. Our results also demonstrated a significant improvement in ADHD symptoms in the experimental group by comparison with the control group in the posttest and follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

Mindful parenting training was effective in reducing parenting stress and ADHD symptoms in our intervention group.

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Mindfulness Training Enhances Self-Regulation and Facilitates Health Behavior Change for Primary Care Patients: a Randomized Controlled Trial.

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Image: Pixabay

Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine

BACKGROUND:

Self-management of health is important for improving health outcomes among primary care patients with chronic disease. Anxiety and depressive disorders are common and interfere with self-regulation, which is required for disease self-management. An insurance-reimbursable mindfulness intervention integrated within primary care may be effective for enhancing chronic disease self-management behaviors among primary care patients with anxiety, depression, trauma, and stress-related and adjustment disorders compared with the increasingly standard practice of referring patients to outside mindfulness resources.

OBJECTIVE:

Mindfulness Training for Primary Care (MTPC) is an 8-week, referral-based, insurance-reimbursable program integrated into safety-net health system patient-centered medical homes. We hypothesized that MTPC would be more effective for catalyzing chronic disease self-management action plan initiation within 2 weeks, versus a low-dose comparator (LDC) consisting of a 60-min mindfulnessintroduction, referral to community and digital resources, and addition to a 6-month waitlist for MTPC.

PARTICIPANTS:

Primary care providers (PCPs) and mental health clinicians referred 465 patients over 12 months. All participants had a DSM-V diagnosis.

DESIGN AND INTERVENTIONS:

Participants (N = 136) were randomized in a 2:1 allocation to MTPC (n = 92) or LDC (n = 44) in a randomized controlled comparative effectiveness trial. MTPC incorporates mindfulness, self-compassion, and mindfulness-oriented behavior change skills and is delivered as insurance-reimbursable visits within primary care. Participants took part in a chronic disease self-management action planning protocol at week 7.

MAIN MEASURES:

Level of self-reported action plan initiation on the action plan initiation survey by week 9.

KEY RESULTS:

Participants randomized to MTPC, relative to LDC, had significantly higher adjusted odds of self-management action plan initiation in an intention-to-treat analysis (OR = 2.28; 95% CI = 1.02 to 5.06, p = 0.025).

CONCLUSIONS:

An 8-week dose of mindfulness training is more effective than a low-dose mindfulness comparator in facilitating chronic disease self-management behavior change among primary care patients.

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Mindfulness in allied health and social care professional education: a scoping review.

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Image from Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

Source: Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation

BACKGROUND:

Investigations into the use of mindfulness with allied health and social care students, many of whom ultimately work in rehabilitation settings, is in the nascent stages and no systematic mapping of the literature has occurred. The purpose of this scoping review was to identify, summarise, and describe the current state of knowledge on mindfulness in allied health and social care professional education.

METHODS:

Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review methodology was adopted. Five data bases were searched; inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied; and 50 papers were identified for inclusion in the study.

RESULTS:

Quantitative studies depicted mindfulness interventions as contributing to: improved capacities for mindfulness; decreases in stress, anxiety, and depression; improvements in academic skills, quality of life and well-being, and empathy; improved physiological measures and emotional regulation; and mixed effects on burn-out. Qualitative studies highlighted: 1) mindfulness and self-care, 2) mindfulness within professional practice placements, 3) mindfulness in the classroom, and 4) the cultivation of mindful qualities.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study has important implications for the education of future rehabilitation professions and suggests that learning about mindfulness may be useful in assisting students to: manage academic stress, anxiety, and depression; cultivate a physical and mental state of calm; be more present and empathetic with clients; and be more focused and attentive in professional practice settings. Implications for rehabilitation Further exploration of mindfulness as a promising educational intervention for the professional preparation of future rehabilitation practitioners in allied health and social care fields is recommended. Education and research about mindfulness and its potential opportunities for students in terms of the mediation of stress, anxiety, depression, and the cultivation of empathy, academic skills, quality of life, and resilience are recommended. Education and research about mindfulness and its potential for the cultivation of beneficial qualities of mind such as attention, self-awareness, compassion, non-judgment, and acceptance are recommended. Education and research about mindfulness as a potential means to develop capacities related to self-care, professional practice placements, and classroom performance in students is recommended.

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Mindful2Work: Effects of Combined Physical Exercise, Yoga, and Mindfulness Meditations for Stress Relieve in Employees. A Proof of Concept Study

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Image: Pixabay.com

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. Participants (n = 26, four males), referred by company doctors with (work-related) stress and burnout complaints, completed measurements pre and post the intervention, as well as at 6-week (FU1) and 6-month (FU2) follow-up. Results showed very high feasibility and acceptability of the Mindful2Work training. The training and trainers were rated with an 8.1 and 8.4 on a 1–10 scale, respectively, and training dropout rate was zero. Significant improvements with (very) large effect sizes were demonstrated for the primary outcome measures of physical and mental workability, and for anxiety, depression, stress, sleep quality, positive and negative affect, which remained (very) large and mostly increased further over time. Risk for long-term dropout from work (checklist individual strength [CIS]) was 92 % at pre-test, reduced to 67 % at post-test, to 44 % at FU1, and 35 % at FU2, whereas employees worked (RTWI) 65 % of their contract hours per week at pre-test, which increased to 73 % at post-test, 81 % at FU1 and 93 % at FU2. Intensity of home practice or number of attended sessions were not related to training effects. 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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