Researchers looking at data from 7 studies of people with chronic pain (total 545) randomly chosen either to receive MBSR training or to join a control group receiving standard care, which often includes prescription painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, and 13 similarly randomized studies with a total of 1,095 pain patients, utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), found that these two approaches decreased pain to approximately the same extent. There is also one well constructed, randomized, head-to-head study of MBSR and CBT which has similar findings. While more studies are needed, the fact there there is likelihood that MBSR, a group intervention at much less cost than CBT, has a similar effect to CBT for the chronic pain the effects one in five US adults is encouraging.
While this and another study with mindfulness training and police officers require affirmation in larger studies, the possibilities for reducing stress in this profession of high stress is significant.
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Occasional articles on the possible benefits of mindfulness practice