Anxiety, depression, and decreased quality of life are common in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). A new study has suggested that training in meditation and mindfulness practices brings long-term improvements in mental health and quality of life for patients with IBD.
David Castle, psychiatrist at St. Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, said, "Our study provides support for the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of a tailored mindfulness-based group intervention for patients with IBD."
‘Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) leads to reductions in anxiety and depression scores, as well as improvement in physical and psychological quality of life. This program comprised of guided meditations, exercises designed to enhance mindfulness in daily life, and group discussions of challenges and experiences.’
The research team evaluated a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program for patients with IBD. The study included 60 adults with average age of 36 years. While one group participated in the MBSR program, the control group did not. This program included guided meditations, exercises designed to enhance mindfulness in daily life, and group discussions of challenges and experiences.
The MBSR participants were observed to have greater reductions in anxiety and depression scores, as well as improvement in physical and psychological quality of life. They also had higher scores on a questionnaire measuring various aspects of mindfulness, for example, awareness of inner and outer experiences.
Castle explained, "This work reinforces the interaction between physical and mental aspects of functioning, and underscores the importance of addressing both aspects in all our patients."
The study was published in the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.