JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress management program as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy in patients with anxiety disorder

Sang Hyuk Lee, Seung Chan Ahn, Yu Jin Lee, Tae Kyu Choi, Ki Hwan Yook, Shin Young Suh
Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2007, 62 (2): 189-95
17270577

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a meditation-based stress management program in patients with anxiety disorder.

METHODS: Patients with anxiety disorder were randomly assigned to an 8-week clinical trial of either a meditation-based stress management program or an anxiety disorder education program. The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Symptom Checklist--90-Revised (SCL-90-R) were used to measure outcome at 0, 2, 4, and 8 weeks of the program.

RESULTS: Compared to the education group, the meditation-based stress management group showed significant improvement in scores on all anxiety scales (HAM-A, P=.00; STAI state, P=.00; STAI trait, P=.00; anxiety subscale of SCL-90-R, P=.00) and in the SCL-90-R hostility subscale (P=.01). Findings on depression measures were inconsistent, with no significant improvement shown by subjects in the meditation-based stress management group compared to those in the education group. The meditation-based stress management group did not show significant improvement in somatization, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and interpersonal sensitivity scores, or in the SCL-90-R phobic anxiety subscale compared to the education group.

CONCLUSIONS: A meditation-based stress management program can be effective in relieving anxiety symptoms in patients with anxiety disorder. However, well-designed, randomized, and controlled trials are needed to scientifically prove the worth of this intervention prior to treatment.

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