The impact of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1993 Sep;15(5):284-9. doi: 10.1016/0163-8343(93)90020-o.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness characterized by widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and resistance to treatment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia. Seventy-seven patients meeting the 1990 criteria of the American College of Rheumatology for fibromyalgia took part in a 10-week group outpatient program. Therapists followed a carefully defined treatment approach and met weekly to further promote uniformity. Patients were evaluated before and after the program. Initial evaluation included a psychiatric structured clinical interview (SCID). Outcome measures included visual analog scales to measure global well-being, pain, sleep, fatigue, and feeling refreshed in the morning. Patients also completed a medical symptom checklist, SCL-90-R, Coping Strategies Questionnaire, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, and the Fibromyalgia Attitude Index. Although the mean scores of all the patients completing the program showed improvement, 51% showed moderate to marked improvement and only they were counted as "responders." These preliminary findings suggest that a meditation-based stress reduction program is effective for patients with fibromyalgia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Awareness
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / therapy*
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Sick Role
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Somatoform Disorders / therapy*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome