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28 Apr

This line of inquiry looks like it’s worth pursuing by other investigators – it’s a ready-made curriculum for stressed teens that seems to be effective, and it’s got a self-compassion component that most adolescents could use. I also suspect that programs like this could reduce bullying. Check it out!

In this pilot study, researchers from the University of North Carolina and the University of Tennessee explored the effects of a mindfulness training program on the emotional well-being of a community sample of 28 teens. They also looked at the impact of a self-compassion component to mindfulness practice.

21 Apr

Brazilian researchers from Universidade Federal de São Paulo and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein performed a small pilot study to see whether mindful awareness practices (MAP) could improve quality of life (QoL), mood and ability to concentrate in adults with ADHD.

Twenty-one ADHD patients and 8 controls without ADHD underwent 8 weekly MAP sessions; 22 similar patients and 9 controls did not undergo the intervention.  Mood and quality of life (QoL) were assessed using validated questionnaires, and attention was evaluated using the Attentional Network Test (ANT) and the Conners Continuous Performance Test (CPT II), before and after the intervention.

14 Apr

Total knee replacement surgery usually involves a painful recovery period, and many docs and nurses encourage their patients to try guided imagery to help with the discomfort – it can replace the use of opioids to some degree (and sometimes, for some people, quite a lot), and many patients prefer it, because they don’t like feeling “dopey” if they can help it.

I honestly didn’t think we still needed to establish that guided imagery was an acceptable intervention to orthopedic surgery patients – that point has been made time after time. But, hey, nobody asked me! And our neighbors down the road at Summa and Kent State thought otherwise and checked it out for themselves. 

06 Apr

This won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but this meta-analysis – a study of studies – shows that meditation really does change the brain – for the better. The physical manifestations show up in the brain scans of expert meditators.

This accounts for their superior abilities at self-awareness, impulse control (self-regulation), focused problem solving, and perception of internal sensation. Check it out. The abstract and the link to the full journal article are below:

Researchers from the University of Rome performed a meta-analysis on neuroimaging studies of the physiological mechanisms underlying the positive effects of meditation. In particular, they focused on the effects of meditation practice on brain structure and function.

31 Mar

Researchers from Plymouth University in the UK tested Elaborated Intrustion Theory (EI), - the idea that food cravings happen when an involuntary thought about an appealing food (generated either by seeing it, smelling it or some other external prompt; or by internal sensations of hunger, anxiety, fatigue, etc) gets elaborated by strong, multisensory and inherently rewarding "mental images" of that food – the way it looks, tastes, smells, feels and even sounds – wonderfully described as a kind of imaginary relish that produces a form of exquisite torture.

24 Mar

Researchers from Colorado State University and the National Institutes of Health examined the relationship between dispositional mindfulness to binge eating and associated eating attitudes and behaviors among adolescent girls at risk for type 2 diabetes (T2D).

One hundred fourteen overweight or obese girls with a family history of T2D and mild depressive symptoms were enrolled in the study.

The researchers collected adolescent self-reports of mindfulness, eating in the absence of hunger, and depressive symptoms. They also interviewed them to determine presence of binge eating episodes, and used a behavioral task to assess the reinforcing value of food vs. other non-snack food rewards. They also assessed body composition through dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

17 Mar

In this RCT (randomized, controlled trial) researchers from the Mayo Clinic evaluated the effect of post-operative massage in patients who had undergone abdominal colorectal surgery, and found that it had a consistent, statistically significant, positive effect.

One hundred twenty-seven patients were randomized to receive either a 20-min massage (n = 61) or a social visit and relaxation session with no massage; n = 66) on the second and third day after surgery.

Vital signs and psychological well-being (pain, tension, anxiety, satisfaction with care, relaxation) were assessed before and after each intervention.

10 Mar

Researchers from The Sorbonne in Paris examined the relationship between dispositional mindfulness - peoples' natural tendency toward a mindful attitude (non-judgmental awareness of the present moment), and their weight status, in a large sample of the French adult general population.

A total of 14,400 men and 49,228 women, over 18 yrs old, were included in this cross-sectional analysis. Mindfulness data was collected, using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, as well as self-reported weight and height.

The investigators assessed the association between weight status and dispositional mindfulness, as well as its subscales (observing, describing, acting with awareness, non-judging and non-reactivity), using multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for socio-demographic and lifestyle factors.

03 Mar

Swedish researchers from Linkoping University and Stockholm University looked at whether a blended treatment, with four face-to-face sessions and a smartphone application, could deliver comparable results to a full, 10-session course of behavioral treatment for people suffering from major depression.

The randomized, controlled non-inferiority trial compared a blended treatment (n=46) to a full ten-session treatment (n=47) with people suffering from major depression. The primary outcome measure was the BDI-II, administered at pre- and post-treatment, as well as six months post-treatment.

Results showed significant improvements in both groups across time on the primary outcome measure At the same time, the blended treatment reduced the therapist's time by an average of 47%.

25 Feb

Researchers from Leuphana University and Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany; VU University and University of Utrecht in the Netherlands; and the Black Dog Institute in Sydney, Australia, conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate whether Computer- and Internet-based cognitive behavioral treatments (cCBT) are effective as a treatment alternative for regular, face-to-face treatment for the symptoms of anxiety and depression in adolescents and young adults.