Pauzano-Slamm, 2005

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APA Citation: 

Pauzano-Slamm, N. M. (2005). Mindfulness meditation for chronic fatigue syndrome: A controlled trail. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 66(1-B), 569.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
AAQ; chronic fatigue syndrome; mindfulness meditation; etiology; quality of life; somatization; psychological distress

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is an illness with an uncertain etiology and few treatments that significantly improve quality of life (Taylor, Friedberg & Jason, 2001). Anecdotal reports have indicated that meditation is effective in alleviating CFS related symptomatology (Verillo & Gelman, 1997). However, no controlled trials utilizing meditation with CFS have been conducted. Mindfulness meditation presents itself as a cognitive process and has been used to address similar chronic conditions (Teasdale, Segal & Williams, 1995). The current study was conducted to explore the efficacy of mindfulness meditation as a coping strategy for people with CFS. This investigation of a mindfulness meditation program (Kabat-Zinn, 1990) served two clinical purposes. First, this program was designed to determine if a psychological intervention would improve functionality and quality of life for people with CFS. Secondly, this program addressed some of the methodological issues brought forth in both the mindfulness meditation and CFS literature (Bishop, 2002; Whiting et al., 2001). The present study utilized a single subject design and dependent measures were administered during the baseline phase, during each of the eight treatment sessions, and at a 2 and 4-week follow-up. The dependent measures included the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire, the Brief Symptom Inventory-18, the Fennell Phase Inventory and the Fatigue Related Cognitions Questionnaire and weekly total miles walked. It was hypothesized that participants would demonstrate a decrease in levels of depression, anxiety, somatization, and fatigue related cognitions, increased acceptance of the moment, increased activity as measured by the pedometer and progression to a more adaptive Fennell Phase. It was further hypothesized that these gains would be maintained through follow-up. Results demonstrated support of the first hypothesis as evidenced by substantial improvement in the areas of somatization, anxiety, overall psychological distress, fatigue related cognitions, and overall level of activity, while partial support was found in regard to acceptance and depression from baseline to treatment. Results cautiously support the use of mindfulness meditation techniques for people with CFS. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed as the results relate to acceptance and exposure based techniques. Directions for future research are also included.