The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Programs on Physical Symptoms and Psychological Distress in Patients with Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review
Keywords:mindfulness meditation, fibromyalgia, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, systematic review, mind-body therapies
Objective: Research into and the clinical use of mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention have increased in recent years and the results have been promising in a range of illness populations. One area in which mindfulness has been trialled is fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition currently with poor treatment outcomes. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions on physical symptoms and psychological distress in patients with fibromyalgia. Methods: Systematic review: PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase and Scopus were searched for randomised controlled trials and prospective and retrospective studies. A quality assessment and synthesis of the quantitative data (based on guidelines from the Joanna Briggs Institute) was completed on studies using a mindfulness-based intervention with patients with fibromyalgia on outcomes related to physical symptoms and psychological distress and wellbeing. Results: Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. All included studies used a mindfulness-based group program design. Although outcome measures and data presentation varied, making statistical pooling impossible, the narrative synthesis resulted in overall positive evidence for the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions for patients with fibromyalgia on a range of physical symptom and psychological distress outcome measures. Conclusion: Mindfulness is a favourable treatment option for patients with fibromyalgia. Whilst demonstrated efficacy was generally positive, the number of studies addressing this topic is small and there was wide variation in outcome measures and data presentation. More research is needed, particularly large-scale randomised controlled trials with consistent methodology, outcome measures and sufficient follow-up time periods.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. The license prevents others from using the work for profit without the express consent of the author(s). The license also prevents the creation of derivative works without the express consent of the author(s). Note that derivative works are very similar in nature to the original. Merely quoting (and appropriately referencing) a passage of a work is not making a derivative of it.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).