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Table 1 Characteristics of the included studies

From: Mindfulness-based stress reduction for low back pain. A systematic review

Author, year No. of participants, No. of groups Mean age Inclusion criteria Treatment group: Intervention Program length, frequency, duration Control group: Intervention Program length, frequency, duration Longest follow-up Outcome measures Resultsa
a) at post treatment
b) at follow up
Esmer et al. 2010[24] 40, 2 55.2 ± 11.2 (MBSR); 54.9 ± 9.5 (CG) Persistent leg pain, low back pain or both, Lumbosacral spinal surgery within the last 2 years MBSR according to the curriculum developed at the University of Massachusetts 8-week program, once weekly for 1.5 to 2.5 hours plus one 6-hour session Including gentle yoga Homework: 45 min. meditation each day Additional usual medical care allowed Waiting list control group Additional usual medical care allowed 40 weeks (in MBSR only) 1. Pain Acceptance (CPAQ) 1a. MBSR > CG, p = 0.014
2. Disability (RMDQ) 2a. MBSR > CG, p = 0.005
3. Pain Intensity (VAS) 3a. MBSR > CG, p = 0.021
4. Sleep Quality (Abridged PSQI) 4a. MBSR > CG, p = 0.047
5. Analgesic Medication Log 5a. MBSR > CG, p = 0.001
  1b-5b. All effects were maintained within MBSR
Morone et al. 2008[25] 37, 2 74.1 ± 6.1 (MBSR); 75.6 ± 5.0 (CG) 65 years of age or older, MMSE ≥ 23, Chronic low back pain (with moderate intensity for at least 3 months) MBSR according to the curriculum developed at the University of Massachusetts Without yoga 8-week course, once weekly for 1.5 hours Homework: 45 min. meditation each day Waiting list control group 3 months (in MBSR only) 1. Pain Intensity (MPQ-SF, SF-36 Pain Scale) 1a. NS
2. Pain Acceptance (CPAQ) 2a. Total Score: MBSR > CG, p = 0.008; Activities Engagement: MBSR > CG, p = 0.004
3. Quality of Life (SF-36) 3a. NS
4. Disability (RMDQ, SPPB, SF-36 Physical Functioning Scale) 4a. SF-36 Physical Functioning Scale: MBSR > CG p = 0.03; NS for RMDQ and SPPB
  1b-4b. NS when compared to post treatment assessment
Morone et al. 2009[26] 40, 2 78.0 ± 7.1 (MBSR); 73.0 ± 6.2 (CG) 65 years of age or older, MMSE ≥ 24, Chronic low back pain (with moderate intensity for at least 3 months) MBSR according to the curriculum developed at the University of Massachusetts Without yoga 8-week course, once weekly for 1.5 hours Homework: 45 min. meditation each day Health education program 8-week course, once weekly for 1.5 hours Homework: mental exercise each day 4 months 1. Disability (RMDQ) 1a. NS
2. Pain Intensity (MPQ-SF, SF-36 Pain Scale) 2a. NS
3. Self-efficacy (CPSS) 3a. NS
4. Quality of Life (SF-36 Role Emotional Scale) 4a. MBSR > CG, p < 0.05
5. Mindfulness (MAAS, FFMQ) 5a. NS
  1b-5b. NS
  1. Abbreviations: CG – control group; CPAQ – Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire; CPSS – Chronic Pain Self-Efficacy Scale; FFMQ – Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire; MAAS – Mindful Attention Awareness Scale; MBSR – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction; MMSE – Mini-Mental Status Exam; MPQ-SF – McGill Pain Questionnaire Short Form; NS – not significant; PSQI – Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; RMDQ – Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire; SF-36 – Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form survey; SPPB – Short Physical Performance Battery; VAS – Visual Analog Scale.
  2. a > indicates “significantly better than”.