Category Archives: Meditation

Announcing MBSR Mentorship

Mentoring sessions for teachers of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Sessions are available for both MBSR teachers who would simply like support for their programs and teachers who are enrolled and taking part in the MBSR mentorship program of the UCSD Center for Mindfulness Professional Training Intstitute (MBPTI).

Allan HKAllan Goldstein is the Managing Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. Working in collaboration with Dr. Steven Hickman, Executive Director, he has contributed to the development and evolution of the UCSD CFM Professional Training Institute and Certification programs and the center’s UC San Diego Health System’s group mindfulness programs and teaching staff.  Allan’s growth within the field of Mindfulness-Based Interventions has led him to teach extensively to groups and individuals in various health care, university, military, business, and community settings. He has even taught in the virtual world of Second Life. Allan has had a passion for learning, teaching, and providing mentorship for teachers of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Programs since participating in his first program in 1993. He began participating in the professional training programs at the UMass Center for Mindfulness in the year 2000. Allan’s strong passion for promoting and facilitating the valuable teachings found within MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Interventions has propelled him through a journey that continues to unfold in mystery with his love for this sacred work.



Free Online Mindfulness Course

Free online mindfulness course offered by Dr Thanh Huynh.

Dr Huynh is a radiation oncologist holding faculty apointments with the University of Hawaii’s School of medicine as well as the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii. He has been studying and practicing mindfulness meditation (vipassana) since 1984. His practice includes multiple month-long silent retreats in the U.S., Australia and Asia, under the guidance of Asian masters as well as western teachers. He has been conducting regular meditation sessions for prison inmates since 1993 and more recently has offered introductory mindfulness meditation classes to the public, including children, with rewarding results. He and co-investigators at the University of Hawaii’s Cancer research Center recently completed a successful feasibility study using the internet to teach mindfulness to cancer patients

Association of an Educational Program in Mindful Communication With Burnout, Empathy, and Attitudes Among Primary Care Physicians

PhysiciansMichael S. Krasner, MD; Ronald M. Epstein, MD; Howard Beckman, MD; Anthony L. Suchman, MD, MA; Benjamin Chapman, PhD; Christopher J. Mooney, MA; Timothy E. Quill, MD

JAMA. 2009;302(12):1284-1293.

Context Primary care physicians report high levels of distress, which is linked to burnout, attrition, and poorer quality of care. Programs to reduce burnout before it results in impairment are rare; data on these programs are scarce.

Objective To determine whether an intensive educational program in mindfulness, communication, and self-awareness is associated with improvement in primary care physicians’ well-being, psychological distress, burnout, and capacity for relating to patients.

Design, Setting, and Participants Before-and-after study of 70 primary care physicians in Rochester, New York, in a continuing medical education (CME) course in 2007-2008. The course included mindfulness meditation, self-awareness exercises, narratives about meaningful clinical experiences, appreciative interviews, didactic material, and discussion. An 8-week intensive phase (2.5 h/wk, 7-hour retreat) was followed by a 10-month maintenance phase (2.5 h/mo).

Main Outcome Measures Mindfulness (2 subscales), burnout (3 subscales), empathy (3 subscales), psychosocial orientation, personality (5 factors), and mood (6 subscales) measured at baseline and at 2, 12, and 15 months.

Results Over the course of the program and follow-up, participants demonstrated improvements in mindfulness (raw score, 45.2 to 54.1; raw score change [{Delta}], 8.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.0 to 10.8); burnout (emotional exhaustion, 26.8 to 20.0; {Delta} = –6.8; 95% CI, –4.8 to –8.8; depersonalization, 8.4 to 5.9; {Delta} = –2.5; 95% CI, –1.4 to –3.6; and personal accomplishment, 40.2 to 42.6; {Delta} = 2.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.6); empathy (116.6 to 121.2; {Delta} = 4.6; 95% CI, 2.2 to 7.0); physician belief scale (76.7 to 72.6; {Delta} = –4.1; 95% CI, –1.8 to –6.4); total mood disturbance (33.2 to 16.1; {Delta} = –17.1; 95% CI, –11 to –23.2), and personality (conscientiousness, 6.5 to 6.8; {Delta} = 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1 to 5 and emotional stability, 6.1 to 6.6; {Delta} = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3 to 0.7). Improvements in mindfulness were correlated with improvements in total mood disturbance (r = –0.39, P < .001), perspective taking subscale of physician empathy (r = 0.31, P < .001), burnout (emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment subscales, r = –0.32 and 0.33, respectively; P < .001), and personality factors (conscientiousness and emotional stability, r = 0.29 and 0.25, respectively; P < .001).

Conclusions Participation in a mindful communication program was associated with short-term and sustained improvements in well-being and attitudes associated with patient-centered care. Because before-and-after designs limit inferences about intervention effects, these findings warrant randomized trials involving a variety of practicing physicians.

Author Affiliations: Departments of Internal Medicine (Drs Krasner, Beckman, Suchman, and Quill), Family Medicine (Drs Epstein and Beckman), Psychiatry (Drs Epstein, Chapman, and Quill), and Oncology (Drs Epstein and Quill); the Offices for Medical Education (Mr Mooney), Center to Improve Communication in Health Care and Center for Ethics, Humanities, and Palliative Care (Drs Epstein and Quill), University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York; Rochester Individual Practice Association, Rochester, New York (Dr Beckman); and Relationship Centered Health Care, Rochester, New York (Dr Suchman).

New MBSR – Rheumatoid Arthritis Study

Woman Meditating on BeachIn a new study, rheumatoid arthritis patients reported less psychological distress after practicing meditation for six months, compared with RA patients who didn’t get meditation training during that time.
Meditation didn’t cure RA or erase the joint disease’s physical symptoms, but it appeared to help the patients deal with those symptoms, according to the researchers, who studied 63 adults with RA.
The patients were randomly split into two groups. One group took an eight-week class in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and members were asked to practice meditation at home for 45 minutes per day, six days a week. The other group of RA patients in the study was listed for a free MBSR training program held after the study concluded.
After two months, the groups reported similar reductions in psychological distress. But at the end of the six-month study, those benefits continued only for patients in the meditation group, who cut their psychological distress 35%.