Original Contribution  |   September 2020
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in the Management of Chronic Pain and Its Comorbid Depression
Author Notes
  • From Samaritan Health Services (Drs Marske, Shah, Chavira, Hedberg, Fullmer, and Kaiser and Ms Pipitone) in Corvallis, Oregon; and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest at Western University (Student Doctor Clark). 
  • Financial Disclosures: None reported. 
  • Support: This research project was funded from a grant awarded from the Samaritan Health Services (SHS) Foundation. The grant monies were awarded via an application process directed to the Erkilla Grant for medical research. The Erkilla Grant receives private individual donations and community donations with a specific aim to fund medical research in areas of muscle-skeletal disorders and health promotion. Oversight of this grant was provided by the SHS Internal Review Board. A midyear review was conducted to supervise funding and research guidelines. 
  •  *Address correspondence to Cynthia Marske DO, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, 3600 NW Samaritan Drive, Corvallis OR, 97330-3737. Email: drmarske@msn.com
     
Article Information
Pain Management/Palliative Care / Psychiatry
Original Contribution   |   September 2020
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in the Management of Chronic Pain and Its Comorbid Depression
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2020, Vol. 120, 575-581. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2020.096
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, September 2020, Vol. 120, 575-581. doi:https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2020.096
Abstract

Context: Chronic pain (CP) is a common and serious medical condition, with an estimated 100 million people affected in the United States. In the 1990s, opioids were increasingly prescribed to manage chronic pain, and this practice contributed to the opioid epidemic of the 21st century. To combat this epidemic, multidisciplinary approaches to chronic pain management are being researched and implemented.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical effectiveness of an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course implemented in a semi-rural population with chronic pain.

Methods: Participants were recruited from a community-based teaching hospital in Corvallis, Oregon, for a pre-post study. Participants aged 34 to 77 years who reported having chronic pain lasting for at least 1 year before enrollment were included. Participants took an 8-week group MBSR course in 2.5-hour weekly sessions taught by an experienced MBSR instructor. Techniques were self-practiced between sessions with a goal of 30 minutes per day, 6 days per week. Pre- and postsurvey measurements of pain, depression, and functional capacity were taken via online surveys using the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), and a shortened version of the Modified Oswestry Disability Index (MO). Participants were asked about their satisfaction with the program content, instructor, timing, and location.

Results: Twenty-eight participants were included in the study. Paired t tests found significant improvements in PHQ-9, PCS, and MO percent scores from before to after the course. PHQ-9 scores decreased by a mean of 3.7 points (95% CI, −5.5, −1.8), PCS scores decreased by a mean of 4.6 points (95% CI: −7.2, −2.0), and MO percent score decreased by a mean of 9.4% (95% CI: −14.2%, −4.6%). Results showed an overall downward shift in the distribution of depression, disability, and pain scores after the course.

Conclusions: MBSR classes were found to benefit participants with chronic pain and depression in this setting, fostering significant improvement in participant perceptions of pain, mood, and functional capacity.

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