Researchers from Johns Hopkins University performed a meta-analysis to determine the effects of meditation practice in improving stress related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health-related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in various adult clinical populations.
They identified randomized clinical trials with active controls for placebo effects from MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, PsycArticles, Scopus, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Library, and hand searches.
Strength of evidence was graded using 4 domains (risk of bias, precision, directness, and consistency) and magnitude and direction of effect were determined by calculating the relative difference between groups in the change from baseline.
UK Researchers from the University of Oxford, the Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley, the NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London investigated whether cognitive therapy for PTSD can be delivered effectively in a shortened, 7-day intensive version of a method that is normally administered weekly or bi-weekly over several months.
Patients with chronic PTSD (N=121) were randomlzed to 7-day intensive cognitive therapy for PTSD; 3 months of standard weekly cognitive therapy; 3 months of weekly emotion-focused supportive therapy, or a 14-week waiting list condition.
The primary outcomes measured were change in PTSD symptoms and diagnosis as measured by independent assessor ratings and self-report.
Researchers from the Technion in Haifa, Israel, assessed the efficacy of relaxation and guided imagery audios in helping Parkinson’s Disease patients cope with motor fluctuation.
In a prospective case cohort pilot, PD patients underwent (i) a relaxation session using relaxation and guided imagery and (ii) a control session of relaxing music. Three-day diaries were completed at baseline and after each intervention.
Subsequently, patients received discs for home listening - a relaxation-guided imagery disc and a relaxing music disc.
After three months, the patients were interviewed by phone. Results showed that 21 PD patients participated and 19 completed the study.
In a randomized, controlled parallel trial, researchers from the Sleep and Chronophysiology Laboratory at the University of Michigan assessed the efficacy of telephone-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia.
The thirty subjects had chronic insomnia (27 women, age 39.1 ± 14.4 years, insomnia duration 8.7 ± 10.7 years).
In the experimental condition, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI) was delivered in up to eight weekly telephone sessions (CBTI-Phone, n = 15) versus a control condition that consisted of an information pamphlet (IPC, n = 15).
Measurements consisted of a sleep/wake diary, sleep-related questionnaires (Insomnia Severity Index, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, 16-item Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep), and daytime symptom assessments (fatigue, depression, anxiety, and quality of life).
Researchers from the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, evaluated the effectiveness of internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT) on depressive symptom severity and adherence to medical advice (including lifestyle interventions) in adults with mild to moderate depression and high cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
This was a randomized, double-blind, 12 week attention-controlled trial comparing an iCBT program (E-couch) with an internet-delivered attention control health information package (HealthWatch, n = 282).
The primary outcome measured was depression symptom level on the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) (trial registration: ACTRN12610000085077).
Out of 562 subjects, there were 487 completers (88%) who lasted to the final assessment.
Researchers from the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London, UK, compared the efficacy of reflexology vs. aromatherapy massage for ameliorating stated symptoms of concern in cancer patients.
Adult oncology patients in this non-blinded, randomized study were randomized to either four aromatherapy massage or four reflexology sessions. MYCaW scores were taken at baseline and completion; VAS relaxation scores were gathered pre and post-sessions.
Measuring instruments consisted of unpaired t-tests for the primary outcome; analysis of variance tests for repeated measures for VAS (relaxation); descriptive statistics (means and 95% confidence intervals) and content analysis for patient comments.
Investigators from San Diego State University/University of California looked at whether, for dual diagnosis veterans with substance dependence and major depressive disorder, 12-Step success with alcohol and drug use might be mediated by reductions in depression.
Veterans (209) with this dual diagnosis (chemical dependency and depression) were enrolled in this controlled trial, randomized to either Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSF) or Integrated Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (ICBT), delivered in out-patient groups for 6 months, with support from medication.
Twelve-Step attendance and affiliation, depression severity, percentage of days drinking and percentage of days using drugs were assessed at baseline and at months 3, 6 and 9.
Greater 12-Step meeting attendance predicted lower depression and mediated the superior depression outcomes of the TSF group, explaining 24.3% of the group difference in depression.
Researchers from UCLA conducted a randomized controlled trial of a web-based, self-guided, multimedia stress management and resilience training program (SMART-OP) with a stressed but healthy sample.
Sixty-six participants were randomized to SMART-OP or an attention control (AC) group that received marketed videos and published material on stress management.
Participants were evaluated on self-report measures and the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Analyses were based on study completers (N = 59).
The SMART-OP group reported significantly less stress, more perceived
control over stress, and rated SMART-OP as significantly more useful
than the attention control arm. In addition, the SMART-OP group showed
greater within-task α-amylase recovery at post-assessment.
Researchers from the Utah Center for Exploring Mind-Body Interactions at the University of Utah Medical School in Salt Lake City conducted a randomized, controlled trial to see whether two mind-body interventions – Mind-Body Bridging (MBB) and Mindfulness Meditation (MM) could improve sleep disturbances and other symptoms in posttreatment cancer survivors, as compared to sleep hygiene education (SHE) as an active control.
Fifty-seven cancer survivors with clinically significant self-reported sleep disturbance were randomly assigned to receive MBB, MM, or SHE. All interventions were conducted in three sessions, once per week. Patient-reported outcomes were assessed via the Medical Outcomes Study Sleep Scale and other indicators of psychosocial functioning relevant to quality of life, stress, depression, mindfulness, self-compassion, and well-being.
Investigators from the School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health at the University of Edinburgh in the UK compared brief interventions with biofeedback and hypnotherapy in women with refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Patients were randomized to one of two treatment groups, biofeedback or hypnotherapy, delivered as three one-hour sessions over 12 weeks.
Symptom assessments were undertaken using validated, self-administered questionnaires.
Two of the 128 consecutive IBS patients suitable for the study declined to consider nonpharmacological therapy and 29 patients did not attend beyond the first session.
Researchers from the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany, performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of meditative movement therapies or MMT (Qigong, Tai Chi and Yoga) for fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS).
Data bases were screened for randomized, controlled trials that compared MMT to controls with FMS. Outcomes of efficacy were for pain, sleep, fatigue, depression and health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
A total of 7 out of 117 studies with 362 subjects and a median of 12 sessions (range 8-24) were included.