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General Research in Mindfulness

The University of Oregon has undertaken studies that show that the practice of restful alertness for 20 minutes a day can physically reduce anxiety and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Oxford University has carried out research trials which have proved that the regular practice of Mindfulness cuts through the negative, circular habits of thinking leading to depression. On this basis, the NHS has accepted in its official guidelines that Mindfulness is an effective treatment for low mood and depression.

Some specific studies in Mindfulness

Britton, W.B., Shahar, B., Szepsenwol, O., Jacobs, W.J. (2012) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy improves reactivity to social stress: Results from a randomized controlled trial.

Brown and Ryan (2003) Does Mindfulness Make the Difference?
Research with cancer patients using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale - a measure specifically to measure subjective state of mindful awareness. The results showed that the MAAS scores went up and the levels of stress went down and mood state improved.

Davidson et al (2003) Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. 25 participants were tested before, immediately after and 4 months after taking part in an 8-week training in mindfulness. A control group of 16 were tested at the same times. Findings demonstrated that a short programme in mindfulness meditation produced demonstrable effects on brain and immune function.

Creswell, J. D., Irwin, M. R., Burklund, L. J., Lieberman, M. D., Arevalo, J. M. G., Ma, J., Breen, E. C., Cole, S. W. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training reduces loneliness and pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults: A small randomized controlled trial.

Kuyken et al (2008) Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to prevent relapse in recurrent depression. Two groups using antidepressants, one group (62 participants) stayed on their medication, while the other group (61 participants) received MBCT plus support to taper/discontinue antidepressants. Results over a 15 month follow up were positive (though still some relapse/recurrence) and the authors conclude that MBCT may provide an alternative to medication in those with recurrent depression.

Lazar et al (2005) Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness.
MRI scanning used with 20 participants and matched controls. Results showed offset aging process within the brain.

Leaity and Hennessey (2004) Outcomes of a Pilot Group using MBCT for people living with HIV and recurrent depression.
A small sample of 6 males ages 33-68 who undertook 8 weekly 2 hour sessions in MBCT with a 6 week follow up. Results showed a reduction in anxiety and stress.
Ospina et al (2007) Systematic review of literature.
A systematic review of 17 databases of all Mindfulness literature up to September 2005. The results were inconclusive and cited poor research methodology e.g. no control groups used in much research. It is a comprehensive review and although the results prove inconclusive the whole article should be read.

Praissman (2008) Mindfulness-based stress reduction: a literature review and clinician's guide.
A literature review that found MBSR to be an effective treatment for reducing stress and anxiety that accompanies daily life and chronic illness. The findings also showed that MBSR is also therapeutic for healthcare providers, enhancing their interactions with patients. The review states that no negative side effects from MBSR have been documented, and recommends MBSR as a safe, effective, integrative approach for reducing stress for patients and healthcare providers.

Smith et al (2008) A pilot study comparing the effects of mindfulness-based (MBSR) and cognitive behavioural (CBSR) stress reduction.
People were recruited to either take MBSR or CBSR. Results showed that the MBSR group showed better outcomes compared to those in the CBSR group across all variables.

Speca et al (2000) Randomized Wait-list Controlled Clinical Trial
90 people with varying forms of breast cancer undertook 7 weekly 90 minute sessions in Mindfulness. The results were positive and were retained at a 6 month follow-up.

Van der Lee, M. L., Garssen, B. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy reduces chronic cancer-related fatigue: A treatment study.

Yook et al (2008) Usefulness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for treating insomnia in
 patients with anxiety disorders: a pilot study.

This study suggest sthat MBCT can be effective at relieving insomnia symptoms by reducing worry associated sleep disturbances in patients with anxiety disorder.

Other interesting articles

Cuellar NG. Business and leadership. Mindfulness meditation for veterans - implicationsfor occupational health providers. AAOHN Journal. 2008 Aug; 56(8): 357-63.

Evans S.  Ferrando S.  Findler M.  Stowell C.  Smart C.  Haglin D. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of Anxiety Disorders.  22(4):716-21, 2008 May.

Lovas JG.  Lovas DA.  Lovas PM. Mindfulness and professionalism in dentistry. Journal of Dental Education.  72(9):998-1009, 2008 Sep.

Ludwig DS.  Kabat-Zinn J. Mindfulness in medicine. JAMA.  300(11):1350-2, 2008 Sep 17.

Lutz A, Brefczynski-Lewis J, Johnstone T, Davidson RJ (2008) Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise. PLoS ONE 3(3): e1897. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001897

Morone NE.  Lynch CS.  Greco CM.  Tindle HA.  Weiner DK. "I felt like a new person." the effects of mindfulness meditation on older adults with chronic pain: qualitative narrative analysis of diary entries. Journal of Pain.  9(9):841-8, 2008 Sep.

Nyklicek I.  Kuijpers KF. Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention on psychological well-being and quality of life: is increased mindfulness indeed the mechanism?. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.  35(3):331-40, 2008 Jun.

Ong JC.  Shapiro SL.  Manber R. Combining mindfulness meditation with cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia: a treatment-development study. Behavior Therapy.  39(2):171-82, 2008 Jun.

Some interesting research from The MindLife Institute 2007

Joanna Arch, M.A., C.Phil.,  Different Approaches to Emotion Regulation: MBSR and CBT in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders;   Lab of Michelle Craske, Ph.D., UCLA Anxiety Disorders Behavioral Research Program, Dept. of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles

Jennifer Daubenmier, Ph.D.,  Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Cell Aging Processes; Lab of Elissa Epel, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco

Eric Garland, MSW, LCSW, Biopsychosocial Assessment of a Mindfulness-Oriented Treatment of Alcohol Dependence, Lab of Susan Gaylord, Ph.D., Director, Program on Integrative Medicine, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Joshua Grant, B.Sc. (Ph.D. in progress), Meditation and Real-time fMRI Training for the Cultivation of Compassion; Lab of Pierre Rainville, Ph.D., Physiology Dept., University of Montreal and the Institute of Geriatric’s  Functional Neuroimaging Unit

Teresa Hawkes, B.F.A.,  A Randomized Controlled Single-Blinded Pilot Trial to Compare Effects of Concentrative Sitting Meditation to Moving Meditation (Tai Chi) Training on Attentional Network Efficiency;  Lab of  Marjorie Woollacott, Ph.D., University of Oregon Department of Human Physiology

Britta Hoelzel, Ph.D., Does Mindfulness Training Change the Processing of Social Threat?;  Lab of Sara Lazar, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital

Elizabeth Hoge, M.D.,  Neuropeptide Levels in Meditation,  Lab of Mark Pollack, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, General Clinical Research Center, Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorder

Michael Hove, M.A., The Dissolution of Self During Rhythmic Motor Behavior, Labs of Prof. Michael Spivey, Ph.D., Cornell University and Prof. Ed Large, Ph.D.,  Florida Atlantic Universtiy

Kristen Jastrowski Mano, Ph.D., Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for the Treatment of Pediatric Chronic Pain, Lab of Dr. Steven Weisman, MD and W. Hobart Davies, PhD, Jane B. Pettit Pain and Palliative Care Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Anthony King, Ph.D., Efficacy of a 16 week Mindfulness-based Group for Combat PTSD in Recruiting Veterans, and Pilot Effects on Threat Detection and Emotion Regulation Neurocircuitry, Lab of Israel Liberzon, MD (Chief of Psychiatry, Ann Arbor VA), PTSD Clinic director: Nicholas Giardino, Ph.D., Ann Arbor VA Psychiatry Service Clinical research Laboratory, Ann Arbor VA PTSD Clinic, Israel Liberzon, MD biopsychology laboratory, University of Michigan fMRI Center

Zev Rosen, B.A., Neural Effects of Mindfulness Training on Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder, Lab of Professor Amishi Jha, Ph.D., Attention and Memory Lab at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania

Baljinder Sahdra, Ph.D.,  Measurement and Correlates of Non-attachment, Lab of Dr. Phillip R. Shaver, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Center for Mind and Brain, University of California, Davis

Laura Van Wielingen, M.Sc.,  How does Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Improve Psychological Functioning for Cancer Patients?,  Lab of  Linda E. Carlson, Ph.D., C.Psych., Associate Professor, Department of Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre – Holy Cross Site, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Anna-leila Williams, PA-C, MPH, Development and Testing of Determinants of Meditation Practice, Lab of Ruth McCorkle, PhD, FAAN, F.S. Wald Professor, Director, Center for Excellence in Chronic Illness Care, Yale University School of Nursing

Fadel Zeidan, M.A., The Influence of Meditative Experience on Pain Perception,  Lab of Dr. Nakia Gordon, University of North Carolina-Charlotte Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University



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