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A controlled study of the effect of a mindfulness-based stress reduction technique in women with multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia

Authors Tara Sampalli, Elizabeth Berlasso, Roy Fox, Mark Petter

Published 7 April 2009 Volume 2009:2 Pages 53—59

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S5220

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Tara Sampalli1, Elizabeth Berlasso1, Roy Fox1, Mark Petter2

1Nova Scotia Environmental Health Centre, Fall River, Nova Scotia, Canada; 2Doctoral Candidate, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

Background: The objective of this study was to examine the effect of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on women diagnosed with conditions such as multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and fibromyalgia (FM).

Methods: The intervention group underwent a 10-week MBSR program. Symptoms Checklist Inventory (SCL-90R) was used as outcome measure and was administered before the start of the program (pre-), immediately upon completion (post-) and at three-month follow-up. Women on the wait list to receive treatment at the Nova Scotia Environmental Health Centre were used as control subjects for the study.

Results: A total of 50 participants in the intervention group and 26 in the wait-list controls group were recruited for this study. Global scores in the intervention group reached statistical significance pre-post (<0.0001) and at pre-follow-up (<0.0001) while the global scores in the control group remained the same. Five of nine and eight of nine subscales of the SCL-90R showed improvement of statistical significance in MBSR group following treatment and at three-month follow-up.

Conclusions: The study showed the importance of complementary interventions such as MBSR techniques in the reduction of psychological distress in women with chronic conditions.

Keywords: chronic conditions, multiple chemical sensitivity, mindfulness-based stress reduction, chemical sensitivity

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