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Altern Ther Health Med. 2002 Jan-Feb;8(1):60-2, 64-6.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction and healthcare utilization in the inner city: preliminary findings.

Author information

  • 1Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic and the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, Calif, USA. bethroth@snet.net

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Research on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has focused on measuring symptom reduction in middle-class and working-class populations. The present study examined inner-city patients' healthcare utilization before and after an MBSR intervention.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether completion of an MBSR program resulted in changes in healthcare utilization in an inner-city population.

DESIGN:

Medical chart review compared the number and diagnoses of health center visits during the year before patients entered the MBSR program with the year following completion of the program.

SETTING:

The Community Health Center in Meriden, Conn.

PATIENTS:

The chart review process examined healthcare utilization patterns for 73 patients: 54 who completed the MBSR program in Spanish and 19 who completed the program in English. The focus of this study is a subgroup of 47 patients for whom a complete year of data were available before and after the intervention.

INTERVENTION:

An 8-week course in MBSR.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The number and diagnoses of patients' health center visits before and after completion of the MBSR program.

RESULTS:

A significant decrease in the number of chronic care visits was found among the 47 patients for whom complete data were available. The 36 patients who completed the Spanish courses demonstrated a significant decrease in total medical visits and chronic care visits.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study suggest that MBSR may help contain healthcare costs by decreasing the number of visits made by inner-city patients to their primary care providers after completing the MBSR program.

PMID:
11795623
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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