After a year, the researchers followed-up with 67 of the participants to see how they were doing.
The study, published in the Dec. 20 online edition of the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, found that those who took part in the in-person training reported better coping and overall well-being than the others.
Kendrin Sonneville, a clinical nutrition specialist at Children's Hospital, Boston, who's studying mindfulness and eating, said the study is strong. It adds to previous research that suggests mindfulness is most effective for mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse and binge-eating disorder, plus pain syndromes and musculoskeletal diseases, Sonneville said.
Hofmann said one next step is to better understand how mindfulness takes people's minds off their pain. It might be a matter of distraction, he said, or general relaxation.
For more about the mind/body connection, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians.
SOURCES: Heidi A. Zangi, graduate student, National Resource Center for Rehabilitation in Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo; Stefan G. Hofmann, Ph.D., professor, psychology, Boston University; Kendrin Sonneville, Sc.D., clinical nutrition specialist, Children's Hospital, Boston; Dec. 20, 2011, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, online
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