The effect of Benson Relaxation Technique on rheumatoid arthritis patients: extended report

Int J Nurs Pract. 2006 Aug;12(4):214-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2006.00568.x.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease and has the highest rate of prevalence among rheumatic inflammatory diseases. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of Benson Relaxation Technique (BRT) combined with medication on disease activity in patients with RA. Following ethical approval, 50 consecutive matched patients were selected and allocated into two groups, either an experimental or a control group. Patients in the experimental group received BRT combined with medication and patients in the control group were given only medication. Clinical symptoms, laboratory findings, anxiety, depression and feeling of well-being were measured before and after intervention to evaluate the effect of BRT. There was a significant difference between the two groups in anxiety, depression and feeling of well-being. Changes in clinical symptoms and laboratory findings were not large enough to be statistically significant between the two groups, but they indicated decline in disease progress. The results demonstrate that BRT can be an effective technique in reducing disease process in patients suffering from RA. However, in order to support the findings of this trial, studies with large sample size and > 8-week intervention are recommended.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / complications
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / psychology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Blood Sedimentation
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depression / etiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Relaxation Therapy / education
  • Relaxation Therapy / standards*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents