Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, compared the effectiveness of 2 evidence-based group interventions to help stressed breast cancer survivors cope - mindfulness-based cancer recovery (MBCR) and classic, supportive-expressive group therapy (SET).
This multisite, randomized controlled trial assigned 271 distressed survivors of stage I - III breast cancer to one of the two group interventions or a 1-day stress management control condition.
MBCR focused on training in mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga, whereas SET focused on emotional expression and group support. Both intervention groups included 18 hours of professional contact.
Measures were collected at baseline and post-intervention by blinded assessors. Primary outcome measures were mood and diurnal salivary cortisol slopes. Secondary outcomes were stress symptoms, quality of life and social support.
Researchers from the Department of Rehab Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle evaluated the effects of a single session of four non-pharmacological pain interventions, relative to a sham procedure, on pain and electroencephalogram- (EEG-) assessed brain oscillation, in order to determine the extent to which intervention-related changes in perceived pain intensity are associated with changes in brain oscillations.
Thirty individuals with spinal cord injury and chronic pain were given an EEG and were tested for pain before and after five different procedures (hypnosis, meditation, transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS], neurofeedback, and a control sham tDCS procedure).
Each procedure was associated with a different pattern of changes in brain activity, and all active procedures were significantly different from the control procedure in at least three bandwidths.
Investigators from San Diego State University (SDSU) & University of California, San Diego (UCSD), conducted a meta-analysis to examine the effects of randomized, controlled yoga interventions on self-reported fatigue in cancer patients and survivors. The online electronic databases, PubMed and PsycINFO, were used to search for peer-reviewed research articles reporting on randomized, controlled studies.
The main outcome of interest was change in fatigue from pre- to post-intervention. Interventions of any length were included in the analysis. Risk of bias using the format of the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias was also examined across studies.
Ten articles met the inclusion criteria and involved a total of 583 participants who were predominantly female, breast cancer survivors.
Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor investigated the feasibility, appeal, and clinical efficacy of an MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy) group intervention, adapted for combat-related posttraumatic stress, or PTSD, as the VA still calls it.
Consecutive patients seeking treatment for chronic PTSD at a VA outpatient clinic were enrolled in 8-week MBCT groups, modified for posttraumatic stress (four groups, n = 20) or brief treatment-as-usual (TAU) comparison group interventions (three groups, n = 17).
Pre- and post-therapy psychological assessments used the CAPS scale (clinician administered PTSD scale) on all patients. In addition, the MBCT groups filled out , self-report measures (the PTSD diagnostic scale, PDS, and the posttraumatic cognitions inventory, PTCI).
Researchers from the Mind-Body Medicine Research Laboratory in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University, Waco, TX developed a study to evaluate the feasibility of a guided self-hypnosis intervention for hot flashes.
Thirteen postmenopausal women received 5 sessions of guided self-hypnosis (guided imagery) in which all the hypnotic inductions were audio recordings.
Subjects were provided with guidance regarding symptom monitoring, individualizing the mental imagery and practicing the technique.
Hot flashes were measured through diaries. Results indicated that the average frequency of hot flashes decreased by 72% (p < .001) and hot-flash intensity decreased by 76% (p < .001) on average.
Researchers from the Sleep Disorders Center at the Mayo Clinic College in Rochester, MN replicated and extended an earlier study (by Hurwitz et al, 1991) looking at the effectiveness of one or two sessions of hypnosis in substantially improving “parasomnias” (sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, sleep-eating, nightmares, night terrors, bedwetting, sleep sex, teeth grinding, sleep talking, restless legs syndrome, and so on) up to five years later.
The study sample consisted of thirty-six patients (19 male, 17 female), ages ranging from 6 to 71, with an average age of 32.7 years. Four were children aged 6 to 16. All had chronic, self-sustaining parasomnias. All underwent 1 or 2 hypnotherapy sessions and were then followed with a questionnaire for 5 years.
Researchers from the Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction at the University of Zurich in Switzerland investigated the efficacy of a single-session of group hypnotherapy for smoking cessation, as compared to relaxation in a sample of 223 Swiss adult smokers.
This was a cluster-randomized, parallel-group, controlled trial. A single session of hypnosis or relaxation for smoking cessation was delivered to groups of smokers (median size = 11).
Participants were 223 smokers consuming at least 5 cigarettes per day, who were willing to quit and not using cessation aids (47.1% females, M = 37.5 years [SD = 11.8], 86.1% Swiss).
Nicotine withdrawal, smoking abstinence self-efficacy, and adverse reactions were assessed at a 2-week follow-up.
Researchers from the School of Psychology, University of Sussex in Falmer, UK, explored in this feasibility study whether a brief, online, mindfulness-based intervention could increase mindfulness and reduce perceived stress and anxiety/depression symptoms within a student population.
One hundred and four students were randomly assigned to either immediately start a two-week, self- guided online, mindfulness-based intervention or to a wait-list control.
Measures of mindfulness, perceived stress and anxiety/depression were taken, before and after the intervention period.
Researchers from the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System assessed therapist and patient outcomes from a national training initiative with eleven cohorts (391 therapists and 745 depressed patients) across the country in using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression or ACT-D.
Three-hundred thirty four therapists successfully completed the requirements of the ACT-D training program.
Ninety-six percent of therapists achieved competency by the end of training, as compared to 21% at the outset of training.
Mixed effects model analysis indicated therapists' overall ACT-D competency scores increased from 76 to 112 (conditional SD = 6.6), p < 0.001.
Researchers from the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, WA assessed outcomes resulting from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for 47 veterans with PTSD, depression and quality of life.
The subjects were randomized to treatment as usual (TAU; n = 22), or MBSR plus TAU (n = 25), and assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and 4-month follow-up.
Intention-to-treat analyses found no reliable effects of MBSR on PTSD or depression. Quality of life improved at posttreatment but there was no reliable effect at 4 months.
Researchers from Stanford University investigated the effectiveness of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) on Social Anxiety Disorder, as compared with aerobic exercise.
Fifty-six adults (52% female; 41% Caucasian; age mean [M] ± standard deviation [SD]: 32.8 ± 8.4) with SAD were randomized to either an MBSR condition or the active comparison condition of aerobic exercise (AE).
At baseline and post-intervention, participants completed measures of social anxiety , depression, stress and sense of well-being (Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Social Interaction Anxiety Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, and Perceived Stress Scale, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Self-Compassion Scale, and UCLA-8 Loneliness Scale).