Influence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA)

Psychosom Med. Sep-Oct 1998;60(5):625-32. doi: 10.1097/00006842-199809000-00020.

Abstract

Objective: This study tests the hypothesis that stress reduction methods based on mindfulness meditation can positively influence the rate at which psoriasis clears in patients undergoing phototherapy or photochemotherapy treatment.

Methods: Thirty-seven patients with psoriasis about to undergo ultraviolet phototherapy (UVB) or photochemotherapy (PUVA) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention guided by audiotaped instructions during light treatments, or a control condition consisting of the light treatments alone with no taped instructions. Psoriasis status was assessed in three ways: direct inspection by unblinded clinic nurses; direct inspection by physicians blinded to the patient's study condition (tape or no-tape); and blinded physician evaluation of photographs of psoriasis lesions. Four sequential indicators of skin status were monitored during the study: a First Response Point, a Turning Point, a Halfway Point, and a Clearing Point.

Results: Cox-proportional hazards regression analysis showed that subjects in the tape groups reached the Halfway Point (p = .013) and the Clearing Point (p = .033) significantly more rapidly than those in the no-tape condition, for both UVB and PUVA treatments.

Conclusions: A brief mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention delivered by audiotape during ultraviolet light therapy can increase the rate of resolution of psoriatic lesions in patients with psoriasis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Ficusin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • PUVA Therapy
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Ficusin