I. Veterans

Mind-Body Skills Groups for Treatment of War-Traumatized Veterans: A Randomized Controlled Study

Staples, J. K., Gordon, J. S., Hamilton, M., & Uddo, M.

2020

A mind-body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its effects on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans at a PTSD specialty clinic in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

Objective

This study evaluated the effects of a mind-body skills group (MBSG) intervention on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

Method

Veterans (n = 108; mean age = 55.97 [SD = 11.72]; 96% male) at a PTSD specialty clinic in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System were randomized to a 10-week MBSG program or standard treatment. PTSD was the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcomes included anger, sleep, depression, anxiety, posttraumatic growth, and health-related quality of life.

Results

MBSG participants had significantly greater improvement in the total PTSD score after 10 weeks compared to the standard treatment group. Hyperarousal and avoidance scores significantly improved at 10 weeks and improvements in the hyperarousal symptoms were maintained at 2-month follow-up. MBSG participants also had significant decreases in anger and sleep disturbance. There were no significant differences in the other secondary outcomes.

Conclusions

This MBSG intervention offers promise in helping Veterans with PTSD and its related symptoms.

II. Conflicts and Civil Wars

Mediators of Focused Psychosocial Support Interventions For Children In Low-Resource Humanitarian Settings: Analysis From An Individual Participant Dataset With 3,143 Participants

Purgato M, Tedeschi F, Betancourt TS, Bolton P, Bonetto C, Gastaldon C, Gordon J, O’Callaghan P, Papola D, Peltonen K, Punamaki RL, Richards J, Staples JK, Unterhitzenberger J, de Jong J, Jordans MJD, Gross AL, Tol WA, Barbui C.

2020

This was a mediation study to determine potential pathways through which psychosocial interventions work to reduce PTSD symptoms. The study is co-authored by Drs. Gordon and Staples.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

Background

Research on psychosocial interventions has been focused on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions on mental health outcomes, without exploring how interventions achieve beneficial effects. Identifying the potential pathways through which interventions work would potentially allow further strengthening of interventions by emphasizing specific components connected with such pathways.

Methods

We conducted a preplanned mediation analysis using individual participant data from a dataset of 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) which compared focused psychosocial support interventions versus control conditions for children living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) affected by humanitarian crises. Based on an ecological resilience framework, we hypothesized that (a) coping, (b) hope, (c) social support, and (d) functional impairment mediate the relationship between intervention and outcome PTSD symptoms. A systematic search on the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, PubMed, PyscARTICLES, Web of Science, and the main local LMICs databases was conducted up to August 2018. The hypotheses were tested by using individual participant data obtained from study authors of all the studies included in the systematic review.

Results

We included 3,143 children from 11 studies (100% of data from included studies), of which 1,877 from six studies contributed to the mediation analysis. Functional impairment was the strongest mediator for focused psychosocial interventions on PTSD (mediation coefficient 0.087, standard error 0.040). The estimated proportion of effect mediated by functional impairment, and adjusted for confounders, was 31%.

Conclusions

Findings did not support the proposed mediation hypotheses for coping, hope, and social support. The mediation through functional impairment may represent unmeasured proxy measures or point to a broader mechanism that impacts self-efficacy and agency.

Focused Psychosocial Interventions For Children In Low-Resource Humanitarian Settings: A Systematic Review And Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis. Focused Psychosocial Interventions For Children In Low-resource Humanitarian Settings: A Systematic Review And Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis.

Purgato M, Gross AL, Betancourt T, Bolton P, Bonetto C, Gastaldon C, Gordon J, O’Callaghan P, Papola D, Peltonen K, Punamaki RL, Richards J, Staples JK, Unterhitzenberger J, van Ommeren M, de Jong J, Jordans MJD, Tol WA, Barbui C

2018

This is a meta-analysis of individual participant data from 3143 children exposed to traumatic events on the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions. The study is co-authored by Drs. Gordon and Staples and CMBM’s randomized controlled study in Kosovo is included in the meta-analysis.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Background

Results from studies evaluating the effectiveness of focused psychosocial support interventions in children exposed to traumatic events in humanitarian settings in low-income and middle-income countries have been inconsistent, showing varying results by setting and subgroup (eg, age or gender). We aimed to assess the effectiveness of these interventions, and to explore which children are likely to benefit most.

Methods

We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data (IPD) from 3143 children recruited to 11 randomised controlled trials of focused psychosocial support interventions versus waiting list. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycArticles, Web of Science, and the main local low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) databases according to the list of databases relevant to LMIC developed collaboratively by Cochrane and WHO Library, up to November, 2016. We included randomised controlled trials that assessed the effectiveness of focused psychosocial support interventions in children exposed to traumatic events in LMICs, compared with waiting lists (eg, inactive controls). We excluded quasirandomised trials, studies that did not focus on psychosocial support interventions, and studies that compared two active interventions without control conditions. We requested anonymised data from each trial for each of the prespecified variables for each child who was randomly assigned. The main outcomes considered were continuous scores in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms assessed
with rating scales administered immediately (0–4 weeks) after the intervention. We harmonised all individual items from rating scales using item response theory methods.

Findings

We identified a beneficial effect of focused psychosocial support interventions on PTSD symptoms (standardised mean difference [SMD] –0·33, 95% CI –0·52 to –0·14) that was maintained at follow-up (–0·21, –0·42 to –0·01). We also identified benefits at the endpoint for functional impairment (–0·29, –0·43 to –0·15) and for strengths: coping (–0·22, –0·43 to –0·02), hope (–0·29, –0·48 to –0·09), and social support (–0·27, –0·52 to –0·02). In IPD meta-analyses focused on age, gender, displacement status, region, and household size we found a stronger improvement in PTSD symptoms in children aged 15–18 years (–0·43, –0·63 to –0·23), in non-displaced children (–0·40, –0·52 to –0·27), and in children living in smaller households (<6 members; –0·27, –0·42 to –0·11).

Interpretation

Overall, focused psychosocial interventions are effective in reducing PTSD and functional impairment, and in increasing hope, coping, and social support. Future studies should focus on strengthening interventions for younger children, displaced children, and children living in larger households.

Mind-Body Skills Groups for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Palestinian Adults in Gaza

Gordon, J. S., Staples, J. K., He, D. Y., & Atti, J. A. A.

2016

A mind-body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its effect on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and quality of life in adults in Gaza.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

A mind-body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its effect on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and quality of life in adults in Gaza. The 10-session mind-body skills groups (MBSGs) included meditation, guided imagery, breathing techniques, autogenic training, biofeedback, genograms, and self-expression through words, drawings, and movement. Data were analyzed from 92 adults meeting criteria for PTSD. Significant improvements in PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms and significant improvements in quality of life (QOL) were observed immediately following participation in the program. At 10-month follow-up, the improvements in the PTSD, depression, anxiety, overall QOL and health scores, and the physical health and social relationship domains of QOL were fully maintained. Improvement was partially maintained for the psychological QOL domain but was not maintained for the environment domain. MBSGs are easily taught to health professionals and can reduce PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms, and improve QOL in adults affected by war and political violence.

Mind-Body Skills Groups for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression Symptoms in Palestinian Children and Adolescents in Gaza

Staples, J. K., Abdel Atti, J. A., & Gordon, J. S.

2011

A mind-body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its effects on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and on hopelessness in children and adolescents in Gaza.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

A mind-body skills group program was evaluated to determine its effects on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and on hopelessness in children and adolescents in Gaza. The 10-session mind-body skills groups included meditation, guided imagery, breathing techniques, autogenic training, biofeedback, genograms, and self-expression through words, drawings, and movement. Data were analyzed from 129 children and adolescents meeting criteria for PTSD. Significant improvements in PTSD and depression symptoms and a significant decrease in a sense of hopelessness were observed immediately following participation in the program. At 7-month follow-up, the improvements in the total PTSD and depression scores were largely maintained and the decreased sense of hopelessness was fully maintained despite ongoing violent conflict and economic hardship.

Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Postwar Kosovar Adolescents using Mind-Body Skills Groups: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Gordon, J. S., Staples, J. K., Blyta, A., Bytyqi, M., & Wilson, A. T.

2008

A mind-body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its effects on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in postwar Kosovar adolescents. This was the first randomized controlled trial of any intervention with war-traumatized adolescents.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

Objective

To determine whether participation in a mind-body skills group program based on psychological self-care, mind-body techniques, and self-expression decreases symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Method

Eighty-two adolescents meeting criteria for PTSD according to the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (which corresponds with 16 of the 17 diagnostic criteria for PTSD in DSM-IV) were randomly assigned to a 12-session mind-body group program or a wait-list control group. The program was conducted by high school teachers in consultation with psychiatrists and psychologists and included meditation, guided imagery, and breathing techniques; self-expression through words, drawings, and movement; autogenic training and biofeedback; and genograms. Changes in PTSD symptoms were measured using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. The study was conducted from September 2004 to May 2005 by The Center for Mind-Body Medicine at a high school in the Suhareka region of Kosovo.

Results

Students in the immediate intervention group had significantly lower PTSD symptom scores following the intervention than those in the wait-list control group (F = 29.8, df = 1,76; p < .001). Preintervention and postintervention scores (mean [SD]) for the intervention group were 2.5 (0.3) and 2.0 (0.3), respectively, and for the control group, 2.5 (0.3) and 2.4 (0.4), respectively. The decreased PTSD symptom scores were maintained in the initial intervention group at 3-month follow-up. After the wait-list control group received the intervention, there was a significant decrease (p < .001) in PTSD symptom scores compared to the pre intervention scores.

Conclusions

Mind-body skills groups can reduce PTSD symptoms in war-traumatized high school students and can be effectively led by trained and supervised schoolteachers.

Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Postwar Kosovo High School students using Mind-Body Skills Groups: A Pilot Study

Gordon, J. S., Staples, J. K., Blyta, A., & Bytyqi, M.

2004

A preliminary study to examine whether the practice of mind-body techniques decreases symptoms of posttraumatic stress in adolescents.

Abstract (POSTED WITH PUBLISHER PERMISSION)

This preliminary study examined whether the practice of mind-body techniques decreases symptoms of posttraumatic stress in adolescents. Posttraumatic Stress Reaction Index questionnaires were collected from 139 high school students in Kosovo who participated in a 6-week program that included meditation, biofeedback, drawings, autogenic training, guided imagery, genograms, movement, and breathing techniques. Three separate programs were held approximately 2 months apart. There was no control group. Posttraumatic stress scores significantly decreased after participation in the programs. These scores remained decreased in the 2 groups that participated in the follow-up study when compared to pretest measures. These data indicate that mind-body skills groups were effective in reducing posttraumatic stress symptoms in war-traumatized high school students.

Currently Being Prepared for Publication:

Mind-Body Skills Groups for Behavioral Problems in a Boys Secondary School in Gaza

A mind-body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its effects on behavioral and emotional problems, aggression, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in a boys secondary school in Gaza compared to a control school.

III. Caregivers/Health Systems/First Responders

Impact of Mind–Body Medicine Professional Skills Training on Healthcare Professional Burnout

Weinlander, E. E., Daza, E. J., & Winget, M.

2020

The impact of a mind-body medicine professional training program on burnout and quality of life in healthcare professionals was evaluated.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Background

Healthcare professional burnout has reached epidemic proportions, with downstream effects on personal and patient health and on our institutions. Solutions lie in the domains of work culture, operational efforts, and personal strategies.

Objectives

To evaluate the impact of a 5-day mind-body medicine professional training program on burnout and quality of life.

Methods

We conducted pre- and postevaluation of a mind-body medicine skills training for healthcare professionals on 6 wellness domains using 2 validated instruments: the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Professional Quality of Life Survey.

Results

There was a statistically significant improvement in changes in emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment, compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress which was sustained at 12 months. Largest relative improvements occurred in emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, 22% and 21%, respectively.

Conclusion

In addition to providing an important patient care skill set, mind-body medicine training may be an effective way to mitigate burnout and improve healthcare professional well-being.

The Integrative Psychiatry Curriculum: Development of an Innovative Model

Ranjbar, N., Ricker, M., & Villagomez, A.

2019

The development and elements of the Integrative Psychiatry Curriculum (IPC), which included The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s mind-body skills group (MBSG) model, is described.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

The Integrative Psychiatry Curriculum (IPC) was developed to train psychiatry residents and fellows to apply an Integrative Medicine (IM) approach for patients presenting with psychiatric disorders. Launched in 2015, IPC includes interactive online courses, in-person experiential sessions, and a clinical component with supervision. Twenty-one residents and fellows have completed the curriculum. The purpose of the IPC is 2-fold: to enhance patient wellness through training residents and fellows in evidence-based whole-person care and to improve physician well-being through enhanced stress management and self-awareness utilizing the practice of mind-body skills within a supportive small group setting. Course participants are trained in a broad range of prevention and treatment options and learn about their evidence base; they then practice incorporating IM into diagnosis and treatment plans through supervised clinical experience. This article describes the development of IPC and its elements. Efforts are underway to further develop and standardize the offerings and increase the portability of the course, making it easier for Psychiatry training programs with limited faculty expertise in IM to provide the curriculum for residents and fellows. To reach the goal of disseminating such a curriculum for integrative psychiatry, further funding and collaboration with multiple residency training programs is needed.

A Mind–Body Skills Course Among Nursing and Medical Students: A Pathway for an Improved Perception of Self and the Surrounding World

van Vliet, M., Jong, M. C., & Jong, M.

2018

The effect of participation in a Mind–Body (MB) skills course on self-care and self-awareness in medical and nursing students was evaluated.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Despite increased recognition of self-care and self-awareness as core competencies for health care professionals, little attention is paid to these skills during their education. Evidence suggests that a Mind–Body (MB) skills course has the potential to enhance self-care and self-awareness among medical students. However, less is known about the meaning of this course for students and how it affects their personal and professional life. Therefore, we examined the lived experiences with an MB skills course among Dutch medical and Swedish nursing students. This course included various MB techniques, such as mindfulness meditation and guided imagery. Guided by a phenomenological hermeneutical method, three main themes were identified: “ability to be more present,” “increased perception and awareness of self,” and “connection on a deeper level with others.” Overall, participation in the MB skills course served as a pathway to inner awareness and supported connecting with others as well as with the surrounding world.

Long-Term Benefits by a Mind–Body Medicine Skills Course on Perceived Stress and Empathy among Medical and Nursing Students

van Vliet, M., Jong, M., & Jong, M. C.

2017

The effect of participation in a Mind-Body Medicine (MBM) course on stress, empathy, and self-reflection in medical and nursing students was evaluated.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

Background

A significant number of medical students suffer from burnout symptoms and reduced empathy. This controlled, quasi-experimental study aimed to investigate whether a mind–body medicine (MBM) skills course could reduce perceived stress and increase empathy and self-reflection in medical and nursing students.

Methods

The MBM course (consisting of experiential sessions of mind–body techniques and group reflections) was piloted among Dutch medical students and Swedish nursing students. Main outcome variables were perceived stress (PSS), empathy (IRI subscales perspective taking, fantasy, empathic concern, and personal distress), and self-reflection (GRAS). Participating and control students completed questionnaires at baseline, post-intervention, at 6 and 12 months follow-up.

Results

Seventy-four medical and 47 nursing students participated in the course. Participating medical students showed significantly increased empathic concern [1.42 (95% CI 0.05, 2.78), p = 0.042], increased fantasy [3.24 (95% CI 1.58, 4.90), p < 0.001], and decreased personal distress [−1.73 (95% CI −3.04, −0.35), p = 0.010] compared to controls until 12 months follow-up. Participating nursing students showed significantly decreased levels of perceived stress [−5.09 (95% CI −8.37, −1.82), p = 0.002] and decreased personal distress [−5.01 (95% CI −6.97, −3.06), p < 0.001] compared to controls until 12 months follow-up.

Conclusions

This study demonstrated long-term beneficial effects of the MBM course on perceived stress and empathy in medical and nursing students.

The Impact of Mind-Body Medicine Facilitation on Affirming and Enhancing Professional Identity in Health Care Professions Faculty

Talisman, N., Harazduk, N., Rush, C., Graves, K., & Haramati, A.

2015

The impact of facilitating a mind-body medicine course on changes in professional identity, self-awareness, and/or perceived stress was examined.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Problem

Georgetown University School of Medicine (GUSOM) offers medical students a course in mind–body medicine (MBM) that introduces them to tools that reduce stress and foster self-awareness. Previous studies reported decreases in students’ perceived stress and increases in mindfulness—changes that were associated with increased empathic concern and other elements of professional identity formation. However, no reports have described the impact of an MBM course on the facilitators themselves.

Approach

To explore whether MBM facilitation is associated with changes in professional identity, self-awareness, and/or perceived stress, 62 facilitators, trained by the GUSOM MBM program, were invited to complete two validated surveys: the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Forty-two participants also completed a six-item open-ended questionnaire addressing their experience in the context of their professional identity.

Outcomes

Facilitators’ scores were significantly lower on PSS and higher on FMI compared with normative controls (P < .05), and the two parameters were inversely correlated (−0.46, P < .01). Qualitative analysis revealed three main themes: (1) aspects of professional identity (with subthemes of communication; connections and community; empathy and active listening; and self-confidence); (2) self-care; and (3) mindful awareness.

Next Steps

Preliminary findings will be extended with larger studies that examine longitudinal quantitative assessment of communication, connection, and self-confidence outcomes in MBM facilitators, and the impact of MBM facilitation on burnout and resilience.

An Adapted, Four-Week Mind-Body Skills Group for Medical Students: Reducing Stress, Increasing Mindfulness, and Enhancing Self-Care

Greeson, J. M., Toohey, M. J., & Pearce, M. J.

2015

A study evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, and initial effectiveness of an adapted, four-week stress management and self-care workshop for medical students.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

Objective

Despite the well-known stress of medical school, including adverse consequences for mental and behavioral health, there is little consensus about how to best intervene in a way that accommodates students׳ intense training demands, interest in science, and desire to avoid being stigmatized. The objective of this study, therefore, was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and initial effectiveness of an adapted, four-week stress management and self-care workshop for medical students, which was based on the science and practice of mind-body medicine.

Methods

The current study used a prospective, observational, and mixed methods design, with pretest and posttest evaluations. Participants (n = 44) included medical and physician-scientist (MD/PhD) students from a large, southeastern medical school. Feasibility was assessed by rates of workshop enrollment and completion. Acceptability was assessed using qualitative ratings and open-ended responses that queried perceived value of the workshop. Quantitative outcomes included students׳ ratings of stress and mindfulness using validated self-report surveys.

Results

Enrollment progressively increased from 6 to 15 to 23 students per workshop in 2007, 2009, and 2011, respectively. Of the 44 enrolled students, 36 (82%) completed the workshop, indicating that the four-session extracurricular format was feasible for most students. Students reported that the workshop was acceptable, stating that it helped them cope more skillfully with the stress and emotional challenges of medical school, and helped increase self-care behaviors, such as exercise, sleep, and engaging in social support. Students also reported a 32% decrease in perceived stress (P < .001; d = 1.38) and a 16% increase in mindfulness (P < .001; d = 0.92) following the workshop. Changes in stress and mindfulness were significantly correlated (r = -0.42; P = .01).

Conclusion

Together, these findings suggest that a brief, voluntary mind-body skills workshop specifically adapted for medical students is feasible, acceptable, and effective for reducing stress, increasing mindfulness, and enhancing student self-care.

Mind-Body Skills Groups for Medical Students: Reducing Stress, Enhancing Commitment, and Promoting Patient-Centered Care

Gordon, J. S.

2014

This paper describes The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s Mind-Body Skills Group (MBSG) model, surveys its use in medical schools, summarizes published research on it, and discusses obstacles to successful implementation as well as its benefits.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Background

For several decades, psychological stress has been observed to be a significant challenge for medical students. The techniques and approach of mind-body medicine and group support have repeatedly demonstrated their effectiveness at reducing stress and improving the quality of the education experience.

Discussion

Mind-Body Skills Groups provide medical students with practical instruction in and scientific evidence for a variety of techniques that reduce stress, promote self-awareness and self-expression, facilitate imaginative solutions to personal and professional problems, foster mutual understanding among students, and enhance confidence in and optimism about future medical practice. The Center for Mind-Body Medicine, which developed this model 20 years ago, has trained medical school faculty who offer these supportive small groups to students at more than 15 US medical schools. 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.

Summary

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 groups in their curricula.

Stress Biomarkers in Medical Students Participating in a Mind Body Medicine Skills Program

Amri, H., MacLaughlin, B. W., Wang, D., Noone, A. M., Liu, N., Harazduk, N., & Dutton, M.

2011

In this study, we sought to assess the stress-reducing effects of an elective Mind-Body Medicine Skills (MBMS) course by measuring physiological changes in first-year medical students was assessed.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Georgetown University School of Medicine offers an elective Mind-Body Medicine Skills (MBMS) course to medical students to promote self-care and self-awareness. Participating medical students reported better management of academic stress and wellbeing than non-participants. In this study, we sought to assess the stress-reducing effects of MBMS by measuring physiological changes in first-year medical students. Saliva samples were collected before (January, time 1 (T1)-pre-intervention) and upon completion of the course (May, time 2 (T2p)-post-intervention), as well as from non-participating medical students (May, time 2 (T2c)-control). The T2p and T2c collections coincided with the period of final examinations. Cortisol, dehydroepiandrosteronesulfate (DHEA-S), testosterone and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) were measured. The mean morning salivary cortisol at T2p was 97% of the mean at baseline T1 which was significantly lower than for T2c (2.4) (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57– 1.60, P = .001); DHEA-S showed similar pattern as cortisol where the T2p levels were significantly lower than T2c (P < .001) in both morning and evening collections. Testosterone ratio at T2p (0.85) was also lower than T2c (1.6) (95% CI 0.53–1.3, P = .01). sIgA levels were not statistically different. On direct comparison, the T2c and T2p means were significantly different for all cortisol, DHEA-S and testosterone values. Participants maintained their hormonal balance within the normal range throughout the academic semester while the control group showed significantly increased levels, probably exacerbated by the end of the semester exam stress. To our knowledge, this is the first study to assess the physiologic benefits of a MBMS program in medical students.

Effectiveness of CancerGuides®: A Study of an Integrative Cancer Care Training Program for Health Professionals

Staples, J. K., Wilson, A. T., Pierce, B., & Gordon, J. S.

2007

The effect of an integrative cancer care training program on participants’ perception of their professional skills, their mood, use of self care and mind-body modalities, and the acceptance of integrative cancer care at their institutions was assessed.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Purpose

To determine how CancerGuides®, an integrative cancer care training program, would affect participants’ perception of their professional skills, their mood, use of self care and mind-body modalities, and the acceptance of integrative cancer care at their institutions.

Study Design

Qualitative and quantitative measures were used during the training program and at 6-month follow-up. A focus group met before and after the training, and individual interviews of focus group participants were done at follow-up.

Methods

The week-long program consisted of lectures that provided information on integrating conventional and complementary therapies into individualized programs of cancer care. Small group sessions used mind-body techniques to allow participants to understand the dilemmas faced by cancer patients. A self-report survey was administered at the training program and at 6-month follow-up. The survey included questions on the personal and professional use of modalities and on participants’ sense of how well they met the course objectives. Qualitative questions addressed self-care, changes in clinical practice, and the acceptance of integrative therapies by their institutions. The Profile of Mood States was administered before and after the training.

Results

Six months after the training, there was a significant increase in the use and/or recommendation of complementary and alternative medicine modalities in clinical practice and a significant increase in the personal practice of these modalities. Participants’ perceived level of skill for all of the course objectives was significantly increased following the training and was maintained at 6-month follow-up. There were significant reductions in the Anger-Hostility and Tension-Anxiety subscale scores of the Profile of Mood States questionnaire. In response to qualitative questions, participants reported positive changes in patient care and in their clinical practices at 6-month follow-up. The subset of participants in the focus group interviews reported similar improvements. Thirty-five percent of those responding at follow-up reported an increase in acceptance of integrative cancer therapies at their institutions, and 77% reported making positive changes in self-care.

Conclusions

CancerGuides® provided training that allowed participants to enhance personal self-care, to interact more effectively with their patients, and to develop programs of integrative cancer care.

Promoting Self-Awareness and Reflection through an Experiential Mind-Body Skills Course for First Year Medical Students

Saunders, P. A., Tractenberg, R. E., Chaterji, R., Amri, H., Harazduk, N., Gordon, J., & Haramati, A.

2007

An examination of the impact of an 11-week week mind-body skills course on first year medical students’ self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-care.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Background

This research examines student evaluations of their experience and attitudes in an 11 week mind-body skills course for first year medical students.

Aims

The aim is to understand the impact of this course on students’ self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-care as part of their medical education experience.

Methods

This study uses a qualitative content analysis approach to data analysis. The data are 492 verbatim responses from 82 students to six open-ended questions about the students’ experiences and attitudes after a mind-body skills course. These questions queried students’ attitudes about mind-body medicine, complementary medicine, and their future as physicians using these approaches.

Results

The data revealed five central themes in students’ responses: connections, self discovery, stress relief, learning, and medical education.

Conclusions

Mind-body skills groups represent an experiential approach to teaching mind-body techniques that can enable students to achieve self-awareness and self-reflection in order to engage in self-care and to gain exposure to mind-body medicine while in medical school.

Anxiety and Stress Reduction in Medical Education: An Intervention

Finkelstein, C., Brownstein, A., Scott, C., & Lan, Y. L.

2007

An assessment of the effectiveness of participation in an elective course, ‘Mind-Body Medicine: an Experiential Elective,’ on Year 2 medical students’ anxiety, stress, mood states and depression.

Abstract (NO OPEN ACCESS)

Objectives

To assess the effectiveness of a stress reduction elective on Year 2 medical students and to assess the sustainability of any noted improvement.

Methods

A new elective entitled ‘Mind-Body Medicine: an Experiential Elective’ was offered to Year 2 medical students. It was based on a course developed by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. Enrolled students were surveyed on the first (time 1) and last (time 2) days of the elective and again 3 months later (time 3). Four validated self-report instruments were used to examine effects on anxiety, stress, mood states and depression. A comparison group of non-enrolled classmates completed the same instruments during the same timeframes. The study began in autumn 2004 and ended in June 2005.

Methods

This study uses a qualitative content analysis approach to data analysis. The data are 492 verbatim responses from 82 students to six open-ended questions about the students’ experiences and attitudes after a mind-body skills course. These questions queried students’ attitudes about mind-body medicine, complementary medicine, and their future as physicians using these approaches.

Results

Participating students had higher initial anxiety scores than students in the comparison group. Anxiety in the study group declined significantly during the course, with enrolled students becoming indistinguishable from non-enrolled counterparts. These decreased anxiety levels were sustained for 3 months following the conclusion of the course.

Conclusions

This elective was successful in attracting students who were more anxious than their peers. Enrolees had higher baseline anxiety levels than their peers. The course decreased anxiety levels. The significant drop in anxiety scores of the study group suggests that this mind-body elective was an effective way to decrease anxiety in these pre-clinical medical students. Decreases in anxiety were sustained 3 months after the course ended, indicating that the benefits of the course may be longlasting.

Effectiveness of a Mind-Body Skills Training Program for Healthcare Professionals

Staples, J. K., & Gordon, J. S.

2005

Healthcare professionals who attended The Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s mind-body medicine training program were surveyed to determine if they were incorporating mind-body skills into their professional or personal practices and whether they had a greater sense of life satisfaction.

Abstract (POSTED WITH PUBLISHER PERMISSION)

Context

Because of the increased use and benefits of mind-body therapies, it is important that healthcare professionals receive training in these modalities.

Objective

To determine whether healthcare professionals who attended the Center for Mind-Body Medicine’s training program were incorporating mind-body skills into their professional or personal practices and whether they had a greater sense of life satisfaction.

Design

Repeated measures analysis.

Setting

Annual training programs were held in hotels and conference centers in the US.

Participants

Four hundred fifty-one healthcare professionals attended the programs from 1998 to 2001. Two hundred fifty-nine completed the one-year follow-up survey, and 307 completed the well-being survey.

Intervention

The week-long program included didactic and experiential training in biofeedback, meditation, autogenics, imagery, and movement/exercise, as well as self-expression in small groups through drawings, written exercises, and genograms.

Main Outcome Measures

Questionnaires on previous training and personal and professional use of mind-body approaches were administered before and one year after the program. The Existential Well-Being (EWB) scale also was administered before and immediately after the training.

Results

There was a significant increase in the personal use of mind-body skills and the number of participants who were teaching their clients to use all modalities and a significant decrease in the number of participants who were referring clients to others for training. Participants also had significantly higher life satisfaction scores after the program.

Conclusion

This professional training program was effective in promoting the personal and professional use of mind-body skills and in enhancing the personal fulfillment of trainees.

Currently being Prepared for Publication:

Wellness Training for Providers and Staff at a Community Mental Health Center

A wellness training program was evaluated at Eskenazi Health’s Midtown Community Mental Health Center
to determine its effect on professional quality of life, health-promoting lifestyle behaviors, stress, and mood among providers and staff.

IV. Adolescent Trauma and Depression

Mind-Body Skills Groups for Adolescents with Depression in Primary Care: A Pilot Study

Aalsma, M. C., Jones, L. D., Staples, J. K., Garabrant, J. M., Gordon, J. S., Cyr, L. R., & Salyers, M. P.

2020

A mind-body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its acceptability and preliminary effectiveness for the treatment of depression in adolescents in a primary care setting.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Introduction

The objective of this study was to determine the acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of Mind-Body Skills Groups (MBSGs) as a treatment for depressed adolescents in primary care.

Method

A single-arm clinical trial was conducted. A 10-week MBSG program was implemented in primary care. Participants completed self-report measures at baseline, postintervention, and 3 months following the MBSGs. Measures included the Children’s Depression Inventory-2, Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire, Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, Self-Efficacy for Depressed Adolescents, rumination subscale of the Children’s Response Style Questionnaire, and a short acceptability questionnaire.

Results

Participants included 43 adolescents. The total depression scores significantly improved following the MBSG intervention and continued to improve significantly from posttreatment to follow-up. Mindfulness, self-efficacy, rumination, and suicidal ideation all had significant improvement following the intervention. Acceptability of the program was strong, and attendance was excellent.

Discussion

Preliminary evidence suggests that MBSGs are an acceptable treatment for primary care settings and lead to improved depression symptoms in adolescents.

Mind-Body Skills Groups for Adolescents

Cyr, L. R., & Farah, K.

2004

A review of the use of mind-body skills, including biofeedback, hypnosis, guided imagery, meditation, music, and movement, for treatment of stress-related conditions in adolescents.

Abstract (OPEN ACCESS)

Chronic illness provides a significant morbidity in children and their families. Many children and teens with chronic illness experience concurrent emotional and behavioral challenges that are mediated by the stress response. This article reviews the use of mind-body skills, including biofeedback, hypnosis, guided imagery, meditation, music, and movement, for treatment of these stress-related conditions. We outline the use of the model taught by James Gordon, MD, and the Center for Mind-Body Medicine as we have integrated it into groups of teens with diagnoses including cancer, anxiety, headaches, abdominal pain, inflammatory bowel dis- ease, and chronic pain syndrome.

Currently being Prepared for Publication:

A Mind-Body Medicine Peer-Counseling Curriculum for Enhancing Social Emotional Learning Skills in the Aftermath of a High School Shooting

This study measured the effect of a mind-body medicine peer-counseling curriculum for enhancing social emotional learning skills and reducing anxiety following the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

A Qualitative Study of a Mind-Body Medicine Peer-Counseling Curriculum in the Aftermath of a School Shooting

This qualitative study measured the effect of a mind-body medicine peer-counseling curriculum on the school counselors beginning the semester after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.