Mindfulness: does it improve patients' pain outcomes?

Could mindfulness be a drug-free adjunctive therapy to help control pain?

Chronic pain is one of the most common and debilitating medical conditions worldwide, and patients with chronic pain are known to use primary healthcare services up to 5 times more than other patient populations.

A multi-modal approach for pain management, including psychological interventions, is helpful in managing chronic pain. However, does the implementation of mindfulness specifically have an impact on pain levels?

Mindfulness is described by Zeidan et al. (2011) as “present-moment awareness and attention to internal and external experiences”. Zeidan also notes the impacts of mindfulness can be “decreased subjective experience of pain, and better outcomes in stressed populations”. Therefore, mindfulness is often being incorporated as part of a multi-modal pain management program.

 
 

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