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Results of medical studies (high level of evidence) show that mindfulness based stress reduction is the most effective method of stress management. Key research studies summaries are given below

  1. The 1st research :

    A randomized-controlled trial of 37 psoriasis patients who were to undergo ultraviolet phototherapy (UVB) or photo chemotherapy (PUVA). Patients were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: an MBSR intervention during light treatments, or the light treatments without MBSR intervention. Psoriasis status which is an indicator of this study was assessed by direct inspection or photographs of psoriasis lesions by dermatologist blinded to the patient's study condition. The results showed that patients in MBSR group had a significant improvement in rate of healing of skin lesions and also mean rate of skin clearing was faster [252].

  2. The 2nd research :

    It was a randomized-controlled trial in 102 psychiatric adolescents, aged 14 to 18 years. Patients were randomly assigned to either MBSR intervention or no MBSR intervention and they were followed up for 5 months. Physicians’ diagnosis and a form of self-reported psychological symptom were used as indicators of this study. The results showed that patients receiving MBSR had a decreased severity of psychological symptom from physicians’ evaluations and as well as from patients’ self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression compared with control group [253].

  3. The 3rd research :

    It was a randomized-controlled trial in 45 patients who had recovered from depression. The patients were randomly allocated to receive either MBSR intervention (in addition to treatment with psychotropic medication which was going on) or treatment with psychotropic medication alone which was going on. The results showed that patients in MBSR group had an improved depression [254].

  4. The 4th research :

    It was a randomized-controlled trial in 145 patients who recently recovered from depression. Some of the patients were randomized to receive mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in addition to treatment which was going on. The results showed that patients received mindfulness-based cognitive therapy had a significant reduction in the risk of relapse/recurrence [255].

  5. The 5th research :

    It was a randomized-controlled trial in 138 transplant patients (kidney and pancreas). Patients were randomized to either an 8-week MBSR intervention or no MBSR intervention and both the groups were followed up for 1 year. Anxiety, depression, and sleep quality were assessed. The results showed that patients in the MBSR intervention group reported significant improvement in depression, anxiety, and sleep than those who did not receive MBSR intervention [256].

  6. The 6th research :

    It was a randomized-controlled trial in 168 adults with substance use disorders. Participants were randomly assigned to either an 8-week outpatient mindfulness-based relapse prevention program or treatment as usual and they were followed up by 4 months. The results showed that patients who received mindfulness-based relapse prevention had significantly lower rates of substance use and greater decreases in craving [257].

  7. The 7th research :

    It was a prospective cohort study in 51 patients with chronic pain such as low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, angina pectoris, and non-coronary chest pain, all of which did not improve with traditional medical care. Patients were assigned to receive a 10-week MBSR intervention and their pain was assessed by Melzack pain rating scale. The results showed that 50% of the patients showed a reduction of > 50% in the mean total pain rating scale and 65% of the patients showed a reduction of > 33% in the mean total pain rating scale [258].

  8. The 8th research :

    It was a prospective cohort study in 88 patients diagnosed with nonspecific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP). Patients were randomly assigned to receive either MBSR intervention plus medical usual care or medical usual care alone. The McGill Pain Questionnaire and quality of life questionnaire were completed by patients before, after and at 4 weeks after stopping intervention. The results showed that patients who received total 8 times of MBSR course had significantly lower pain and better quality of life than those who did not receive MBSR intervention (p < 0.001) [259].

  9. The 9th research :

    It was a case-controlled study investigating a cause of compliance failure in 784 patients who were enrolled in an 8-week MBSR program. Of these, 598 (76%) completed the program and 186 (24%) did not. The results of analysis showed that sex was a cofactor for compliance failure. The males had a 2-fold significantly lower completion rate than the females [260].

  10. The 10th research :

    It was a prospective cohort study conducted in 20 patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or panic disorder. Patients were assigned to receive one-month MBSR intervention and they were followed up by 3 months. The results showed that 20 of the subjects (90%) had a significant decline in scores of anxiety and depression scales and panic scores and the scores were consistent throughout 3-month follow-up [261].

  11. The 11th research :

    It was a prospective cohort study in 49 patients with breast cancer and 10 patients with prostate cancer. Patients were assigned to participate in an 8-week MBSR program. The results showed significant improvements in overall quality of life, symptoms of stress, and sleep quality. Immunity system (T cell, IL-4, IFN gamma, and IL-10) parameters were also improved along with depressive symptoms [262].

  12. The 12th research :

    It was a prospective cohort study in 49 patients with breast cancer and 10 patients with prostate cancer. Patients were assigned to participate in an 8-week MBSR program with 1-year follow-up. The results showed significant changes, i.e. symptoms of stress improved, systolic blood pressure decreased, cortisol levels (stress hormone) decreased, and Th1 (pro-inflammatory) cytokines decreased [263].

  13. The 13th research :

    It was a prospective cohort study in 18 smokers with smoking addiction. Participants were assigned to participate in MBSR program for smoking cessation without pharmacotherapy. A carbon monoxide breath test was tested after 6 weeks. The results showed that 10 of the subjects (56%) achieved smoking abstinence and the smoking cessation achievement was higher in highly compliant meditators [264].