Evaluating distance education of a mindfulness-based meditation programme for chronic pain management

J Telemed Telecare. 2008;14(2):88-92. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2007.070811.


Patients with chronic pain were recruited from two large urban hospitals and from rural hospitals in Ontario. Patients on the waiting list served as controls. The intervention was a Mindfulness-Based Chronic Pain Management course, delivered to patients for two hours per week for 10 weeks. Pre- and postcourse measures of quality of life, pain catastrophizing and usual pain ratings were collected over a period of two years. Patients received the course via traditional face-to-face, in-person teaching (Present site group) or via videoconferencing at their local hospital site (Distant site group). In all, there were 99 Present site participants, 57 at Distant sites and 59 waitlist controls. Patients at Present and Distant sites achieved similar gains in mental health (P < 0.01) and pain catastrophizing levels (P < 0.01) relative to controls. However, the Present site group obtained significantly higher scores on the physical dimension of quality of life (P < 0.01) and lower usual-pain ratings (P < 0.05) than the Distant site group. The results suggest that videoconferencing is an effective mode of delivery for the Mindfulness course and may represent a new way of helping chronic pain patients in rural areas manage their suffering.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Meditation / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Pain / psychology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Rural Health
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Videoconferencing / standards*
  • Videoconferencing / statistics & numerical data