Do You Prescribe Mindfulness to Your Patients?

January 02, 2019

An 8-week program of mindfulness training may enhance disease self-management among people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and arthritis, a new study by Boston-based researchers has found. Investigators used rates of initiation of health behavior action plans to measure improvement in the patients' self-management skills.

The insurance-reimbursable intervention was associated with higher rates of action-plan initiation than those seen in people exposed to a low-dose comparator consisting of a 60-minute introduction to mindfulness, digital and community resources, and standard mental health care. Mindfulness techniques involve paying attention to the present moment while nonjudgmentally observing one's thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

Another recent British study also found that mindfulness techniques were useful to obese patients when added to traditional weight loss methods. And experts have long touted the benefits of mindfulness activities in managing psychiatric disorders such as stress, anxiety, and depression. As one recent study suggests, soldiers who live with insomnia and posttraumatic stress disorder have an easier time managing their symptoms after the mindful repetition of a mantra, or sacred word.

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