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Fang CY , Reibel DK , Longacre ML , Rosenzweig S , Campbell DE , Douglas SD
Enhanced psychosocial well-being following participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program is associated with increased natural killer cell activity
J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5) :531-8
PMID: 20455784    PMCID: PMC2921566   
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BACKGROUND: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs have consistently been shown to enhance the psychosocial well-being of participants. Given the well-established association between psychosocial factors and immunologic functioning, it has been hypothesized that enhanced psychosocial well-being among MBSR participants would be associated with corresponding changes in markers of immune activity. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to examine changes in psychosocial and immunologic measures in a heterogeneous patient sample following participation in a MBSR program. DESIGN: A single-group, pretest/post-test design was utilized. SETTING: The intervention was conducted at an academic health center. SUBJECTS: This pilot study involved 24 participants (aged 28-72 years). Inclusion criteria were as follows: > or =18 years of age, English-speaking, and no known autoimmune disorder. INTERVENTION: The intervention was an 8-week MBSR program. OUTCOME MEASURES: Distress and quality of life (QOL) measures included the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 and the Medical Outcomes Survey Short-Form Health Survey, respectively. Immunologic measures included natural killer (NK) cell cytolytic activity and C-reactive protein (CRP). RESULTS: Patients completed psychosocial assessments and provided a blood sample at baseline (pre-MBSR) and within 2 weeks post-MBSR. Significant improvements in anxiety and overall distress as well as across multiple domains of QOL were observed from baseline to post-MBSR. Reductions in anxiety and overall distress were associated with reductions in CRP. Patients who reported improvement in overall mental well-being also showed increased NK cytolytic activity from pre- to post-MBSR, whereas patients who reported no improvement in mental well-being showed no change in NK cytolytic activity. CONCLUSIONS: Positive improvement in psychologic well-being following MBSR was associated with increased NK cytolytic activity and decreased levels of CRP.
Fang, Carolyn Y Reibel, Diane K Longacre, Margaret L Rosenzweig, Steven Campbell, Donald E Douglas, Steven D K22 CA107115-01/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States K22CA107115/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States P30 CA000697/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States R01 CA125069-01A1/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States R01CA125069/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States Clinical Trial Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural United States Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):531-8.