Mindfulness is a practice of attentional training recommended to improve wellbeing in chronic pain patients. The Breathworks 8-week Mindfulness for Health (MBPM) course was developed using personal experience of pain to meet the needs of patients with chronic health conditions. We investigated treatment outcomes, including changes in quality of life, distress and pain catastrophising, immediately after treatment and sustained over time.
To the right are graphs of pre- and post-course scores for emotional distress (HADS – a combined total for depression and anxiety) and pain catastrophising (PCS). Figures show individual participant changes: whether they improved, stayed the same or deteriorated. They also show whether the change was:
1) Clinically significant – the blue dotted line shows the clinical cutoff score: above this line is of clinical concern, so participants who had a clinically concerning score at pre-course but not post-course made a clinically significant improvement.
2) Reliable – the red line shows reliable change: outside the margin change can be attributed to treatment effects, not to random variation in the scale*
HADS scores range from 0 (best) to 42 (worst). We set the clinical cut off at 21. HADS scores were lower post-course (mean 12.2, SD 6.2) than pre- course (mean 18.1, SD 6.8), a statistically significant improvement: t(51)= 6.4, p < 0.001 for a large effect size, d=0.87.
Pain catastrophising scores range from 0 (best) to 52 (worst). We set the clinical cut off at 30. The small N was because only patients with pain completed this questionnaire. PCS scores were lower post-course (mean 12.9, SD 8.4) than pre- course (mean 24.4, SD 10.1), a statistically significant improvement; t(23)=6.6,p < 0.001 for a
large effect size, d=1.14