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STUDY: Mindfulness, relaxation techniques lower fatigue in MS

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  • STUDY: Mindfulness, relaxation techniques lower fatigue in MS

    Benefits of a mindfulness-based intervention compared to psychoeducation among multiple sclerosis patients

    I. Gonzalez-Suarez1, A. Muñoz-San José2, S. Cebolla Lorenzo3, L. Carrillo Notario4, V. López de Velasco1, A. Orviz García1, C. Bayón Pérez4, B. Rodriguez Vega4, C. Oreja-Guevara1 1Neurología, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, 2Centro de Salud Mental Alcobendas, 3Centro de Salud Mental Tetuan, 4Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid, Spain

    Introduction: Stress management, including mindfulness, might improve quality of life and produce significant reductions in depression, anxiety and fatigue among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

    Objective: To study if mindfulness based intervention can improve quality of life and fatigue in MS patients.

    Material and methods: A randomized clinical trial was designed to study and compare the effect of an inspired mindfulness-based intervention to a psychoeducative program with relaxation techniques on quality of life (measured by SF-36 questionnaire), fatigue (measured by visual analogic scale), anxiety and depression (measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale,HADS), at the beginning of the study (pre-intervention) and at the end of the intervention (post-intervention, 8 weeks). Both are group interventions over 8 weekly 1.5 hour sessions. The sample is comprised of 58 patients with RRMS, 31 of them randomized to mindfulness intervention and the other 27 to educative program. No differences in sociodemographical characteristics have been found between the groups.

    Results: Mindfulness patients show significative increase of puntuactions in subescales of mental health (Z=-4.65; p< 0.05)and vitality (Z=-6.18; p< 0.05) in SF-36 in relation to psichoeducative group; subescales of physical functioning, social functioning, bodily pain, general health, role-physical and role-emotional have not showed differences between groups. Both interventions have been produced significative decreased of levels of fatigue at 8 week (Z=5.04; p< 0.05) but no differences have been showed between interventions in fatigue reduction. Patients randomized to mindfulness intervention also show significative decreased scores in HADS-A (Z=4.68, p< 0.05), HADS-D (Z=5.89, p< 0.05) and HADS-T (Z=5.89, p< 0.05) than patients randomized to psychoeducative program.

    Conclusions: Our data support the beneficial effects in some aspects of quality of life of a mindfulness-based interventions compared to a psychoeducative program. Both interventions have showed benefits in terms of fatigue reduction.
    Dave Bexfield