MeditationMindfulnessRheumatoid Diseases

Is there a role for meditation in treating rheumatoid arthritis?

This study concludes, “Mindfulness meditation may complement medical disease management by improving psychological distress and strengthening well-being in patients with RA.”

The objective of the study was to assess the effect of a meditation training program, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which combines mindfulness meditation and yoga.

First, the details.

  • 63 patients were randomly assigned to MBSR as an 8-week course plus a 4-month maintenance program, or to a wait list control group.
  • All participants received usual care from their rheumatologists.

And, the results based on patient-completed questionnaires.

  • At 2 months there were no significant differences between the groups.
  • At 6 months the MBSR group experienced significant improvement in psychological distress and well-being.
  • There was a 35% reduction in psychological distress among those treated.
  • MBSR had no impact on RA disease activity.

The bottom line?
It sounds like MBSR helps you cope if you’re willing to dedicate the time.

10/16/07 21:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.