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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1993 Sep;15(5):284-9.

The impact of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia.

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  • 1Arthritis-Fibromyalgia Center, Newton Wellesley Hospital, Massachusetts.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and resistance to treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia. Seventy-seven patients meeting the 1990 criteria of the American College of Rheumatology for fibromyalgia took part in a 10-week group outpatient program. Therapists followed a carefully defined treatment approach and met weekly to further promote uniformity. Patients were evaluated before and after the program. Initial evaluation included a psychiatric structured clinical interview (SCID). Outcome measures included visual analog scales to measure global well-being, pain, sleep, fatigue, and feeling refreshed in the morning. Patients also completed a medical symptom checklist, SCL-90-R, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, and the Fibromyalgia Attitude Index. Although the mean scores of all the patients completing the program showed improvement, 51% showed moderate to marked improvement and only they were counted as "responders." These preliminary findings suggest that a meditation-based stress reduction program is effective for patients with fibromyalgia.

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