Treating fibromyalgia with mindfulness-based stress reduction: results from a 3-armed randomized controlled trial.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a structured 8-week group program teaching mindfulness meditation and mindful yoga exercises. MBSR aims to help participants develop nonjudgmental awareness of moment-to-moment experience. Fibromyalgia is a clinical syndrome with chronic pain, fatigue, and insomnia as major symptoms. Efficacy of MBSR for enhanced well-being of fibromyalgia patients was investigated in a 3-armed trial, which was a follow-up to an earlier quasi-randomized investigation. A total of 177 female patients were randomized to one of the following: (1) MBSR, (2) an active control procedure controlling for nonspecific effects of MBSR, or (3) a wait list. The major outcome was health-related quality of life (HRQoL) 2 months post-treatment. Secondary outcomes were disorder-specific quality of life, depression, pain, anxiety, somatic complaints, and a proposed index of mindfulness. Of the patients, 82% completed the study. There were no significant differences between groups on primary outcome, but patients overall improved in HRQoL at short-term follow-up (P=0.004). Post hoc analyses showed that only MBSR manifested a significant pre-to-post-intervention improvement in HRQoL (P=0.02). Furthermore, multivariate analysis of secondary measures indicated modest benefits for MBSR patients. MBSR yielded significant pre-to-post-intervention improvements in 6 of 8 secondary outcome variables, the active control in 3, and the wait list in 2. In conclusion, primary outcome analyses did not support the efficacy of MBSR in fibromyalgia, although patients in the MBSR arm appeared to benefit most. Effect sizes were small compared to the earlier, quasi-randomized investigation. Several methodological aspects are discussed, e.g., patient burden, treatment preference and motivation, that may provide explanations for differences. In a 3-armed randomized controlled trial in female patients suffering from fibromyalgia, patients benefited modestly from a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention.


Acceptance and commitment therapy universal prevention program for adolescents: a feasibility study

There is a need to prevent anxiety and depression in young people and mindfulness contains important emotion regulation strategies. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a mindfulness-based therapy, has yet to be evaluated as a prevention program, but has demonstrated an ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in adult and adolescent populations. This study examines the feasibility of using an ACT-based prevention program in a sample of year 10 (aged 14–16 years) high school students from Sydney, Australia.


Participants were allocated to either their usual classes or to the ACT-based intervention. Participants were followed for a period of 5 months post-intervention and completed the Flourishing Scale, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and a program evaluation questionnaire. Analyses were completed using intention-to-treat mixed models for repeated measures.


The results indicated that the intervention was acceptable to students and feasible to administer in a school setting. There were no statistically significant differences between the conditions, likely due to the small sample size (N = 48). However, between-group effect sizes demonstrated small to large differences for baseline to post-intervention mean scores and medium to large differences for baseline to follow-up mean scores, all favouring the ACT-based condition.


The results suggest that an ACT-based school program has potential as a universal prevention program and merits further investigation in a larger trial.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction for people with multiple sclerosis – a feasibility randomised controlled trial

BMC Neurol. 2017; 17: 94.
Published online 2017 May 16. doi:  10.1186/s12883-017-0880-8


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a stressful condition. Mental health comorbidity is common. Stress can increase the risk of depression, reduce quality of life (QOL), and possibly exacerbate disease activity in MS. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) may help, but has been little studied in MS, particularly among more disabled individuals.


The objective of this study was to test the feasibility and likely effectiveness of a standard MBSR course for people with MS. Participant eligibility included: age > 18, any type of MS, an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) </= 7.0. Participants received either MBSR or wait-list control. Outcome measures were collected at baseline, post-intervention, and three-months later. Primary outcomes were perceived stress and QOL. Secondary outcomes were common MS symptoms, mindfulness, and self-compassion.


Fifty participants were recruited and randomised (25 per group). Trial retention and outcome measure completion rates were 90% at post-intervention, and 88% at 3 months. Sixty percent of participants completed the course. Immediately post-MBSR, perceived stress improved with a large effect size (ES 0.93; p < 0.01), compared to very small beneficial effects on QOL (ES 0.17; p = 0.48). Depression (ES 1.35; p < 0.05), positive affect (ES 0.87; p = 0.13), anxiety (ES 0.85; p = 0.05), and self-compassion (ES 0.80; p < 0.01) also improved with large effect sizes. At three-months post-MBSR (study endpoint) improvements in perceived stress were diminished to a small effect size (ES 0.26; p = 0.39), were negligible for QOL (ES 0.08; p = 0.71), but were large for mindfulness (ES 1.13; p < 0.001), positive affect (ES 0.90; p = 0.54), self-compassion (ES 0.83; p < 0.05), anxiety (ES 0.82; p = 0.15), and prospective memory (ES 0.81; p < 0.05).


Recruitment, retention, and data collection demonstrate that a RCT of MBSR is feasible for people with MS. Trends towards improved outcomes suggest that a larger definitive RCT may be warranted. However, optimisation changes may be required to render more stable the beneficial treatment effects on stress and depression.

Association between virtues and posttraumatic growth: preliminary evidence from a Chinese community sample after earthquakes

Objective. Relationship, vitality, and conscientiousness are three fundamental virtues that have been recently identi ed as important individual di erences to health, well being, and positive development. This cross-sectional study attempted to explore the relationship between the three constructs and post-traumatic growth (PTG) in three directions, including indirect trauma samples without post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), direct trauma samples without PTSD, and direct trauma samples with PTSD.

Methods. A total of 340 community participants from Sichuan Province, Mainland China involved in the study, most of which experienced Wenchuan and Lushan Earthquake. Participants were required to complete the self-reported questionnaire packages at one time point for obtaining their scores on virtues (Chinese Virtues Questionnaire), PTSD (PTSD Checklist-Speci c), and PTG (Post-traumatic Growth Inventory-Chinese).

Results. Signi cant and positive correlations between the three virtues and PTG were identi ed (r = .39–.56; p < .01). Further regression analysis by stepwise method reveled that: in the indirect trauma samples, vitality explained 32% variance of PTG. In reference to the direct trauma sample without PTSD, both relationship and conscientiousness explained 32% variance of PTG, whereas in the direct trauma sample with PTSD, only conscientiousness accounted for 31% the variance in PTG. Conclusion.This cross-sectional investigation partly revealed the roles of di erent virtues in trauma context. Findings suggest important implications for strengths-based treatment.

Perseverate or decenter? Differential effects of metacognition on the relationship between parasympathetic inflexibility and symptoms of depression in a multi-wave study.

Behav Res Ther. 2017 Oct;97:123-133. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2017.07.007. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Stange JP1, Hamilton JL2, Fresco DM3, Alloy LB2.