Mindfulness Meditation May Ease Fatigue, Depression, Quality Of Life For MS Patients
A new study from Switzerland shows that the training of mindfulness meditation eased fatigue, depression and quality of life of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients compared with patients who received standard medical care.
The research of Dr. Paul Grossman, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Basel Hospital, and colleagues and published in the Sept. 28 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Grossman and his colleagues recruited 150 patients with relapsing-remitting or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, and randomly assigned them to receive either standard medical care (74 patients) or to undergo eight weeks of training in mindfulness meditation (76 patients).
Careful preparation is weekly classes 2.5 hours, all day long retreat, and 40 minutes a day of personal practice.
The approach of mindfulness meditation trains person to develop non-judgmental awareness of present, such as focusing attention on the sensory information, but not what it means. Thoughts of a subjective nature, was summoned memories and worries about the future, pushed aside, as attention is paid to the "here and now" feelings and messages.
Results showed that patients who had received training was to improve the quality of life and reduce fatigue and depression after the end of the course and six months is not up, as compared to their counterparts who received only standard care.
Very few patients are pulled out of training before it is finished (only 5 per cent) and those who completed it improved almost all measures of fatigue, depression (symptoms of depression decreased by more than 30 percent), and quality of life, while patients who received standard of care fell slightly on most indicators.
Some of the biggest improvements in the awareness group was among the 65 percent or so of patients who showed high levels of depression and fatigue, before they started the course. Upon completion of the course of this risk has been reduced by one third, while the proportion was sustained at six months of observation.
Other benefits of mindfulness training was also still there for six months, not up, although in some cases the levels were lower than they were immediately after completing the course. In the case of fatigue, however, the results showed a decrease at the end of the course were at the same level in six months.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Ginny Tavee and Lael Stone Clinic Cleveland, Ohio, USA, writes that since the study did not compare the care group against another active group (with the use of different types of intervention), we can not be sure that the benefits In particular, as a result of mindfulness training.
However, they note that it was a major study of its kind, it was well conducted and well-developed ", and stressed the importance of directing treatment on quality of life issues in patients with MS.
The authors said the evidence supportrd idea that patients with other chronic diseases that lower the quality of life can also benefit from awareness training.
Grossman said in a statement that fatigue, depression, anxiety and quality of life for violation of the most common consequences of the presence of MS:
"People with MS must often face special difficulties of life associated with the profession, financial security, leisure and social activities and relationships, not to mention the direct fear associated with the current or future physical symptoms and disability."
But unfortunately, he explained, medications that help slow the progression of the disease have little effect in these areas.
"Thus, any additional processing, which can quickly and directly improve the quality of life, are very welcome," he added.
He also explained that the ICJ upredictable disease, where people can go for months feeling well and then relapse, which prevents them from working or caring for her family.
"Mindfulness training can help those with MS cope better with these changes," said Grossman.
"Increasing mindfulness in daily life can also contribute to a more realistic sense of control, as well as greater appreciation of the positive experiences that continue to be a part of life," he added.
"MS quality of life, depression, fatigue, and improve after mindfulness training: a randomized trial." P. Grossman, L. Kappos, H. Gensicke, M. D'Souza, DC Moura, I. Penner, and S. Steiner. Neurology, Volume 75, Issue 13: pp 1141-1149, published September 28, 2010.