Mindfulness-Based Approach May Help MS Patients

Associated with improvements in health-related quality of life, fatigue, depression
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to usual care, a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) appears to improve health-related quality of life (HRQOL), depression, and fatigue among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study in the Sept. 28 issue of Neurology.

Paul Grossman, Ph.D., of University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues randomized 150 patients with relapsing-remitting or secondary progressive MS to a structured eight-week MBI or usual care. The primary outcomes were HRQOL, depression, and fatigue.

Intention-to-treat analysis revealed that, compared to usual care, MBI improved nonphysical dimensions of primary outcomes at post-intervention and follow-up. The investigators also found that post-intervention and follow-up effects remained significant when analyses were repeated among subgroups with clinically relevant levels of pre-intervention depression, fatigue, or anxiety.

"The results of this solidly designed study underscore the importance of treatment directed at quality-of-life issues in patients with MS, and provide level III evidence that mindfulness-based meditation is a helpful therapeutic option," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

The study was funded in part by Sanofi-Aventis, Merck Serono, and Biogen-Dompé AG. Study authors disclosed financial ties to these and other pharmaceutical companies.

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