The remarkable decline in cardiovascular disease (CVD) experienced in developed countries over the last 40 years appears to have abated. Currently, many CVD patients continue to show cardiac events despite optimal treatment of traditional risk factors. This evidence suggests that additional interventions, particularly those aimed at nontraditional factors, might be useful for continuing the decline.
Psychosocial stress is a nontraditional risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality that may respond to behavioral or psychosocial interventions. To date, studies applying such interventions have reported a wide range of success rates in treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The authors focus on a natural medicine approach that research indicates reduces both psychosocial and traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease-the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program.
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM
PURPOSE: Examine physicians' attitudes toward the incorporation of psychosocial factors in diagnosis and treatment and identify barriers to the integration of evidence-based mind-body methods. METHOD: Random sample of primary care physicians and physicians from selected non-primary specialties was drawn. A total of 1058 physicians completed a 12-page survey. RESULTS: The response rate was 27%.
Because medication adherence is critical to improving the virologic and immunologic response to therapy and reducing the risk of drug resistance, it is important that we understand the predictors of nonadherence. The goal of the current study is to examine demographic, health behavior and psychosocial correlates (e.g., stressful life events, depressive symptoms) of nonadherence among a sample of HIV infected men and women from one south Florida metropolitan area.
BACKGROUND: Knee Osteoarthritis (KOA) is a major cause of pain and functional impairment among elders. Currently, there are neither feasible preventive intervention strategies nor effective medical remedies for the management of KOA. Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese mind-body exercise that is reported to enhance muscle function, balance and flexibility, and to reduce pain, depression and anxiety, may safely and effectively be used to treat KOA. However, current evidence is inconclusive.
The authors suggest that Transcendental Meditation offers a great deal of promise for use in helping relationships. They also suggest that the technique might receive wider acceptance if it could be explained in other than a purely philosophical or mystical way. For that reason, in their article they offer a psychological interpretation of the TM process.
Meditation is now one of the most enduring, widespread, and researched of all psychotherapeutic methods. However, to date the meeting of the meditative disciplines and Western psychology has been marred by significant misunderstandings and by an assimilative integration in which much of the richness and uniqueness of meditation and its psychologies and philosophies have been overlooked.
This study assesses the efficacy of a group intervention in altering emotion regulation processes and promoting adjustment in women with breast cancer. Using a design with 10 alternating phases of availability of the intervention versus standard care, we assessed women participating in one of three conditions: a 12-week group intervention (N = 54); a decliner group who refused the intervention (N = 56), and a standard care group who were not offered the intervention (N = 44).
John Astin, PhD, is a health psychologist at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco. He studies psychological, attitudinal, and sociocultural barriers to the integration of mind-body factors in medicine and is especially interested in the role of contemplative practices, particularly meditation, in improving mental and physical health.