Background: The role of psychological comorbidities in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a common condition, still remains incompletely understood. Depression may intensify the symptoms and lower quality of life in these patients. In this study, we looked at the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in relieving the symptoms of depression and the health-related quality of life of these patients.
Methods: A longitudinal, interventional open-label study was carried out on 60 patients with GERD and 60 controls. Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (ZSDS) was used for assessing depression before and after the intervention. The GERD-Health-Related Quality of Life (GERD-HRQL) questionnaire was used to assess the health-related quality of life and the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) to quantify the amount of mindfulness over the study period. The correlation between the above variables was analyzed.
Result: Compared with the group not receiving MBSR, the group receiving MBSR showed a greater decrease in the levels of depression indicated by changes in the ZSDS (p < 0.001). According to the GERD-HRQL questionnaire, mental health and social functioning significantly correlated with symptoms of depression and reduction in the levels of distress and in the improvement in health-related quality of life were greater in the group receiving MBSR (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Depressive symptoms adversely influence GERD, reducing the overall quality of life. MBSR can be an effective modality in the alleviation of these symptoms and in reduction in the levels of distress in GERD patients.
Keywords: Depression; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Mindfulness-based stress reduction; Quality of life.