Intensive meditation for refractory pain and symptoms

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Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess patient interest in intensive meditation training for chronic symptoms. Design and setting: This was a cross-sectional anonymous survey among six chronic disease clinics in Baltimore including Chronic Kidney Disease, Crohn's Disease, Headache, Renal Transplant Recipients, General Rheumatology, and lupus clinic. Subjects: Subjects were 1119 consecutive patients registering for their appointments at these clinics. Outcome measures: Outcome measures were 6-month pain, global symptomatology, four-item perceived stress scale, use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, and attitudes toward use of meditation for managing symptoms. We then gave a scripted description of an intensive, 10-day meditation training retreat. Patient interest in attending such a retreat was assessed. Results: Seventy-seven percent (77%) of patients approached completed the survey. Fifty-three percent (53%) of patients reported moderate to severe pain over the past 6 months. Eighty percent (80%) reported use of some CAM therapy in the past. Thirty-five percent (35%) thought that learning meditation would improve their health, and 49% thought it would reduce stress. Overall, 39% reported interest in attending the intensive 10-day meditation retreat. Among those reporting moderate to severe pain or stress, the percentages were higher (48% and 59%). In a univariate analysis, higher education, nonworking/disabled status, female gender, higher stress, higher pain, higher symptomatology, and any CAM use were all associated with a greater odds of being moderately to very interested in an intensive 10-day meditation retreat. A multivariate model that included prior use of CAM therapies as predictors of interest in the program fit the data significantly better than a model not including CAM therapies (p=0.0013). Conclusions: Over 50% of patients followed in chronic disease clinics complain of moderate to severe pain. Patients with persistent pain or stress are more likely to be interested in intensive meditation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-631
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

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Meditation
Intractable Pain
Complementary Therapies
Pain
Chronic Disease
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Baltimore
Rheumatology
Chronic Renal Insufficiency
Crohn Disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this

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title = "Intensive meditation for refractory pain and symptoms",
abstract = "Objective: The objective of this study was to assess patient interest in intensive meditation training for chronic symptoms. Design and setting: This was a cross-sectional anonymous survey among six chronic disease clinics in Baltimore including Chronic Kidney Disease, Crohn's Disease, Headache, Renal Transplant Recipients, General Rheumatology, and lupus clinic. Subjects: Subjects were 1119 consecutive patients registering for their appointments at these clinics. Outcome measures: Outcome measures were 6-month pain, global symptomatology, four-item perceived stress scale, use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, and attitudes toward use of meditation for managing symptoms. We then gave a scripted description of an intensive, 10-day meditation training retreat. Patient interest in attending such a retreat was assessed. Results: Seventy-seven percent (77{\%}) of patients approached completed the survey. Fifty-three percent (53{\%}) of patients reported moderate to severe pain over the past 6 months. Eighty percent (80{\%}) reported use of some CAM therapy in the past. Thirty-five percent (35{\%}) thought that learning meditation would improve their health, and 49{\%} thought it would reduce stress. Overall, 39{\%} reported interest in attending the intensive 10-day meditation retreat. Among those reporting moderate to severe pain or stress, the percentages were higher (48{\%} and 59{\%}). In a univariate analysis, higher education, nonworking/disabled status, female gender, higher stress, higher pain, higher symptomatology, and any CAM use were all associated with a greater odds of being moderately to very interested in an intensive 10-day meditation retreat. A multivariate model that included prior use of CAM therapies as predictors of interest in the program fit the data significantly better than a model not including CAM therapies (p=0.0013). Conclusions: Over 50{\%} of patients followed in chronic disease clinics complain of moderate to severe pain. Patients with persistent pain or stress are more likely to be interested in intensive meditation.",
author = "Madhav Goyal and Jennifer Haythornthwaite and David Levine and Becker, {Diane M} and Dhananjay Vaidya and Felicia Hill-Briggs and Ford, {Daniel E}",
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T1 - Intensive meditation for refractory pain and symptoms

AU - Goyal, Madhav

AU - Haythornthwaite, Jennifer

AU - Levine, David

AU - Becker, Diane M

AU - Vaidya, Dhananjay

AU - Hill-Briggs, Felicia

AU - Ford, Daniel E

PY - 2010/6/1

Y1 - 2010/6/1

N2 - Objective: The objective of this study was to assess patient interest in intensive meditation training for chronic symptoms. Design and setting: This was a cross-sectional anonymous survey among six chronic disease clinics in Baltimore including Chronic Kidney Disease, Crohn's Disease, Headache, Renal Transplant Recipients, General Rheumatology, and lupus clinic. Subjects: Subjects were 1119 consecutive patients registering for their appointments at these clinics. Outcome measures: Outcome measures were 6-month pain, global symptomatology, four-item perceived stress scale, use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, and attitudes toward use of meditation for managing symptoms. We then gave a scripted description of an intensive, 10-day meditation training retreat. Patient interest in attending such a retreat was assessed. Results: Seventy-seven percent (77%) of patients approached completed the survey. Fifty-three percent (53%) of patients reported moderate to severe pain over the past 6 months. Eighty percent (80%) reported use of some CAM therapy in the past. Thirty-five percent (35%) thought that learning meditation would improve their health, and 49% thought it would reduce stress. Overall, 39% reported interest in attending the intensive 10-day meditation retreat. Among those reporting moderate to severe pain or stress, the percentages were higher (48% and 59%). In a univariate analysis, higher education, nonworking/disabled status, female gender, higher stress, higher pain, higher symptomatology, and any CAM use were all associated with a greater odds of being moderately to very interested in an intensive 10-day meditation retreat. A multivariate model that included prior use of CAM therapies as predictors of interest in the program fit the data significantly better than a model not including CAM therapies (p=0.0013). Conclusions: Over 50% of patients followed in chronic disease clinics complain of moderate to severe pain. Patients with persistent pain or stress are more likely to be interested in intensive meditation.

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