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