Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mindfulness meditation for treatment of chronic low back pain: controlled pilot study

Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: a randomized controlled pilot study (Morone NE, Greco CM, Weiner DK).

Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

The objectives of this pilot study were to assess the feasibility of recruitment and adherence to an eight-session mindfulness meditation program for community-dwelling older adults with chronic low back pain (CLBP) and to develop initial estimates of treatment effects.

It was designed as a randomized, controlled clinical trial. Participants were 37 community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years and older with CLBP of moderate intensity occurring daily or almost every day. Participants were randomized to an 8-week mindfulness-based meditation program or to a wait-list control group. Baseline, 8-week and 3-month follow-up measures of pain, physical function, and quality of life were assessed.

Eighty-nine older adults were screened and 37 found to be eligible and randomized within a 6-month period. The mean age of the sample was 74.9 years, 21/37 (57%) of participants were female and 33/37 (89%) were white. At the end of the intervention 30/37 (81%) participants completed 8-week assessments. Average class attendance of the intervention arm was 6.7 out of 8. They meditated an average of 4.3 days a week and the average minutes per day was 31.6. Compared to the control group, the intervention group displayed significant improvement in the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire Total Score and Activities Engagement subscale (P=.008, P=.004) and SF-36 Physical Function (P=.03).

An 8-week mindfulness-based meditation program is feasible for older adults with CLBP. The program may lead to improvement in pain acceptance and physical function.

PMID: 17544212 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID: PMC2254507 [Available on 02/01/09]

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