Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of a Transcendental Meditation (TM) stress reduction program for African Americans with congestive heart failure (CHF).
Design: Randomized, controlled study
Participants and intervention: We recruited 23 African American patients > or = 55 years of age who were recently hospitalized with New York Heart Association class II or III CHF and with an ejection fraction of < .40. Participants were randomized to either TM or health education (HE) group.
Main outcome measures: Primary outcome measure was six-minute walk test; secondary outcomes were generic and disease-specific health-related quality of life, quality of well being, perceived stress, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), rehospitalizations, brain natriuretic peptide, and cortisol. Changes in outcomes from baseline to three and six months after treatment were analyzed by using repeated measures analysis of variance, covarying for baseline score.
Results: For the primary outcome of functional capacity, the TM group significantly improved on the six-minute walk test from baseline to six months after treatment compared to the HE group (P = .034). On the secondary outcome measures, the TM group showed improvements in SF-36 subscales and total score on the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure scale. On the CES-D, the TM group showed significant decrease from baseline to six months compared to the HE group (P = .03). Also, the TM group had fewer rehospitalizations during the six months of followup.
Conclusions: Results indicate that TM can be effective in improving the quality of life and functional capacity of African American CHF patients. Further validation of outcomes is planned via a large, multicenter trial with long-term follow-up.