Effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention in the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain in Nursing Workers

Pain Manag Nurs. 2019 Feb;20(1):32-38. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2018.02.065. Epub 2018 May 17.


Background: Chronic pain is a prevalent disorder in nursing workers worldwide. Several studies have proposed measures to mitigate this critical scenario. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) have been found to have promising results in the treatment of this disorder.

Aims: To quantify the effectiveness of an adapted mindfulness program (AMP) in the management of musculoskeletal pain (MSP) in nursing technicians of a Brazilian university hospital.

Design: This study was a clinical, prospective, open, repeated measures trial, with data collection between January and July 2015.

Settings: Brazilian university hospital.

Participants/subjects: Sixty-four female nursing technicians with a mean age of 47.01 years (standard deviation = 9.50) with chronic pain symptoms.

Methods: Sixty-four female nursing technicians with a mean age of 47.01 years (standard deviation = 9.50) and MSP participated in this prospective study. Before the intervention (T0), scores of anxiety, depression, mindfulness, musculoskeletal complaints, pain catastrophizing, self-compassion, and perception of quality of life were quantified. These scores were reevaluated after 8 weeks (T1) and 12 weeks (T2) of weekly AMP sessions (60 minutes each). The variables were evaluated by analysis of variance for repeated measures, followed by the Bonferroni test.

Results: AMP reduced the scores of musculoskeletal symptoms, anxiety, depression, and pain catastrophizing (p < .001). A significant increase was identified in self-compassion scores and perception of quality of life in the physical, psychological, and overall assessment (p ≤ .04). Positive effects of AMP occurred at T1 and remained unchanged at T2.

Conclusion: AMP contributed to a reduction in painful symptoms and improved the quality of life of nursing workers, with a lasting effect until the 20th week of follow-up, indicating utility as an effective strategy for the management of MSP in the group studied.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brazil
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / methods
  • Mindfulness / standards*
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / psychology
  • Musculoskeletal Pain / therapy*
  • Nurses / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome