Published Research

PTSD Research


I. Staples JK, Abdel Attai JA, Gordon JS. Mind-body skills groups for posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms in Palestinian children and adolescents in Gaza. Int J Stress Manag. 2011; 18(3): 246-262. doi: 10.1037/a0024015

  • 500 children participated in mind-body skills groups taught by 31 CMBM trained health professionals in Gaza in 2007-2008. Prior to participation in the program, 26% of the children had symptoms which qualified them as having PTSD. In those having qualifying PTSD symptoms, the PTSD symptom scores were significantly decreased (56%) following the program. This improvement was partially maintained at 7 month follow-up with a 39% decrease in scores compared to baseline. 
  • 56% of those qualifying as having PTSD also qualified as having depression using cutoff values on the Children’s Depression Inventory. The depression scores were significantly decreased (29%) following the program. This improvement was partially maintained at 7 month follow-up with a 20% decrease in scores compared to baseline. The children felt more hopeful about their future and their lives as indicated by a statistically significant decrease in hopelessness scores (28% decrease) following participation in the mind-body skills groups. This improvement was fully maintained at follow-up.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

II. Gordon, James S., Staples, Julie K., Blyta, Afrim, Bytyqi, Murat and Wilson, Amy T. 
Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Postwar Kosovar Adolescents Using  Mind-Body Skills Groups: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2008 Sep;69 (9):1469-76.

  • This study demonstrates that CMBM’s groundbreaking model can be used to produce highly significant and lasting changes in levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms in highly traumatized children.
  • 82 high school students in Kosovo participated in this randomized-controlled study. The program was conducted by teachers in an educational, supportive small group setting and included meditation, guided imagery, breathing techniques, and biofeedback as well as self-expression through words, drawings, and movement. All the students met the criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which was measured using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. Following the program, the number of students having symptoms indicating PTSD was significantly reduced from 100% to 18%. The reduction in symptoms was maintained at a 3 month follow-up.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

III. Gordon, James S., Staples, Julie K., Blyta, Afrim and Bytyqi, Murat. Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Postwar Kosovo High School Students Using Mind-Body Skills Groups: A Pilot Study.
 Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2004, 17: 143-147. (Posted with permission from the publisher)

  • Posttraumatic Stress Reaction Index questionnaires were collected from 139 students who participated in the first 3 of these programs, and follow-up questionnaires were administered for two of the three programs.
  • The percentage of students having symptoms indicating mild to severe levels of PTSD dropped from 88% before the program to 38% following the program. The benefits were maintained during follow-up in the programs where follow-up questionnaires were administered.
  • The full text of the study can be accessed here.

Mind-Body Medicine Training Program Research

I. Greeson JM, Michael JT, Pearce MJ. An Adapted, Four-Week Mind-Body Skills Group for Medical Students: Reducing Stress, Increasing Mindfulness, and Enhancing Self-Care. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 2015.

  • This study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, and initial effectiveness of an adapted, four-week stress management and self-care workshop for medical students. Participants included 44 medical and physician-scientist (MD/PhD) students.
  • The results showed mind-body skills groups that are specifically tailored for medical students are feasible, acceptable, and effective in reducing stress, increasing mindfulness, and enhancing student self-care. With an 82% retention rate, results showed a 32% decrease in perceived stress, 16% increase in mindfulness.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

II.  James S. Gordon. Mind-body skills groups for medical students: reducing stress, enhancing commitment, and promoting patient-centered care. BMC Medical Education, 2014, 14:198.

  • This paper describes the model, surveys its use in medical schools, summarizes published research on it, and discusses obstacles to successful implementation as well as its benefits.
  • Mind-body skills groups have demonstrated their effectiveness on reducing stress in medical students; in enhancing the students’ experience of medical education; and in helping them look forward more confidently and hopefully to becoming physicians. The experience of these 15 institutions may encourage other medical schools to include mind-body skills in their curricula.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

III. Finkelstein, C., Brownstein, A., Scott, C., & Lan,Y. L. Anxiety and stress reduction in medical education: an intervention. Medical Education, 2007, 41: 258-264.

  • This study was performed at the University of Washington School of Medicine with Year 2 medical students using The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s program.
  • The results showing decreased anxiety scores in the study group were maintained for 3 months following the course, suggesting that the mind-body skills elective was an effective way to decrease anxiety in pre-clinical medical students.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

IV. Saunders, P. A., Tractenberg, R. E., Chaterji, R., Amri, H., Harazduk, N., Gordon, J. S., Lumpkin, M., & Haramati, A. Promoting self-awareness and reflection through an experiential Mind-Body Skills course for first year medical students. Medical Teacher, 2007, 29: 778-784. (Posted with permission from the publisher)

  • 492 verbatim responses from 82 first year medical students to six open-ended questions were analyzed.
  • The results show that mind-body skills groups are a highly valued experiential approach to teaching and promoting self-awareness, self-reflection, and self care with an added benefit of increased awareness of the effectiveness of mind-body skills during medical school.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

V. Staples, Julie K. and Gordon, James S. Effectiveness of a Mind-Body Skills Training Program for Healthcare  Professionals. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 2005, 11(4): 36-41. (Posted with permission from the publisher)

  • 259 health professionals who had attended The Center’s Mind-Body Medicine’s Professional Training Program from 1998-2001 completed questionnaires on their personal and professional use of mind-body approaches both before and 1 year following the training. 307 graduates completed the the Existential Well-Being (EWB) scale both before and immediately after the training.
  • There was a significant increase in the number of participants who were teaching their clients to use all the mind-body modalities 1 year after the training. The results showed that participants were teaching the mind-body skills themselves rather than referring clients to others for training. There was also a significant increase in the personal use of mind-body skills by participants 1 year after the training. Immediately following the training, participants had significantly higher life satisfaction scores.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

VI. Richtsmeier L., & Farah, K. Mind-Body Skills Groups for Adolescents. Biofeedback, Summer 2005.

  • This article reviews the use of mind-body skills for treatment of stress-related conditions and outlines the use of CMBM’s Mind Body Skills Groups model for groups of teens with diagnoses including cancer, anxiety, headaches, abdominal pain, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic pain syndrome.
  • The purpose of this article is to discuss the elements of the CMBM model and the author’s experience with mind-body skills groups with adolescents in a hospital clinic setting. Mind-body skills group consisted of seven girls between 14 and 17 years of age, of which one case example was thoroughly discussed.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

VII. MacLaughlin, B.W., Wand, D., Noone, A., Liu, N., Harazduk, N., Lumpkin, M., Haramati, A., Saunders, P., Dutton, M., & Amri, H. Stress Biomarkers in Medical Students Participating in a Mind Body Medicine Skills Program. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011.

  • First year medical students at Georgetown University School of Medicine are assessed for stress-reducing effects of Mind-Body Skills Groups by measuring physiological changes in the form of saliva samples.
  • Students who participated in Mind-Body Skills Groups maintained hormonal balance within a normal range throughout the academic semester, while the control group showed significantly increased levels.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here.

CancerGuides® Training Program Research

I. Staples, J.K, Wilson, A.T. Pierce, B., Gordon, J.S. Effectiveness of CancerGuides®: A Study of an Integrative Cancer  Care Training Program for Health Professionals. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 2007, 6(1): 14-24.

  • In a study of the participants of CMBM’s CancerGuides ® training in 2004, 90% of the participants reported that they had made positive changes in their clinical practices six months following the training. 35% of those responding at a six month follow-up reported an increase in acceptance of integrative cancer therapies at their institutions and 77% reported making positive changes in their own self-care
  • The most commonly reported changes were increased confidence, providing additional programs/services, increased referrals, improved listening and patient interaction, improved skills, and more open discussions with patients.
  • The full text of this study can be accessed here

Research scales used by The Center for Mind-Body Medicine