Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Anxiety, Depression and Stress in Women With Multiple Sclerosis

Authors

1 1Department of Clinical Psychology, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, IR Iran

2 2Department of Psychiatry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran

Abstract

Background Studies suggest that mindfulness-based interventions can improve anxiety, depression and stress in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, no study investigated the effectiveness of this method in patients with a combination of problems such as depression, anxiety and stress simultaneously. However, comorbidities of depression and anxiety in MS are prevalent. Objectives This study aimed to assess the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBRS) on anxiety, depression and stress in women with multiple sclerosis. Patients and Methods This randomized controlled clinical trial was performed in 2013 in Ahvaz MS Society. Forty eight patients were selected by convenient sampling and randomly assigned in experimental and control groups. The patients in the two groups filled out depression, anxiety and stress scale (DASS-21) at initiation of study, 8 weeks later and 1 month after the end of intervention. The experimental group received 8 sessions of MBRS, while the control group treated as usual. Finally, data of 40 patients analyzed using t-test, chi square and repeated measures analysis of variance. Results In the MBSR group, the mean depression, anxiety and stress were reduced significantly (P < 0.001). The mean depression score was 8.35 ± 1.78 before the intervention and reduced to 4.80 ± 0.83 and 4.45 ± 0.60 after the intervention and follow-up (P < 0.001). Also the mean anxiety score was 8.90 ± 1.97 before the intervention, which was significantly reduced to 4.70 ± 1.38 and 4.55 ± 0.99 after the intervention and follow-up (P < 0.001). The mean stress score was also 8.80 ± 2.35 before treatment and 4.80 ± 1.67 and 4.70 ± 1.34 after the intervention and follow-up (P < 0.001). Conclusions This study showed that MBSR training can reduce mean depression, anxiety and stress scores in patients with MS. These findings suggest that MBSR is useful for psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and stress in patients with MS.

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