Background: Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a chronic, inflammatory disease, characterized by symptomatic periods (flare) interspersed with asymptomatic periods (remission). Evidence suggests that psychological stress can trigger flare. Studies have shown that mindfulness interventions (MI) reduce stress, foster more adaptive coping, and improve quality of life, but have been minimally used for UC patients. The objective of this study was to determine whether participation in an MI results in improvements in UC disease course and inflammatory cascades, mindfulness, perceived stress, and other psychological outcomes in inactive UC patients with limited or no exposure to past MI.
Methods: Participants were randomized to an 8-week MI or control group. Biological and psychological assessments were performed at baseline, post 8-week course, and at 6- and 12-months.
Results: Forty-three participants enrolled. The MI increased the state of mindfulness and mindfulness skills, decreased perceived stress and stress response in patients with inactive UC. The MI intervention significantly decreased the incidence of flare over 12 months (P < .05). None of the UC patients in the MI flared during 12 months, while 5 of 23 (22%) control group participants flared during the same period.
Conclusions: MIs could be considered as adjuvant treatment for a subset of UC patients with high perceived stress and low state of mindfulness.The trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01491997.
Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease; mindfulness intervention; quality of life; ulcerative colitis.
Inactive ulcerative colitis patients were randomized to a mindfulness intervention or control group. Biological and psychological assessments were performed over 12 months. The intervention significantly decreased the incidence of flares, increased the state of mindfulness and mindfulness skills, and decreased perceived stress and the stress response.
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