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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 18

J Holist Nurs

Mindfulness as a Symptom Management Strategy for Fibromyalgia: An Integrative Review.


Gordon S, Brown R, Hogan M, Menzies V
J Holist Nurs. 2022 Sep 18:8980101221123833.
PMID: 36120889.


Mindfulness Meditation is a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modality growing in popularity. Currently, mindfulness is under-studied regarding efficacy; however, it offers a potentially accessible way to contribute to symptom management in chronic pain conditions. The purpose of this integrative review was to examine the literature for the use of mindfulness as symptom management strategy for persons diagnosed with the chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia. Six scientific databases were searched, using various keywords. Inclusion criteria were: (a) fibromyalgia, (b) English language, (c) experimental research designs; (d) adults age ≥ 18 years, and (e) mindfulness. Seven studies were reviewed. Most interventions were completed over several months in the form of multiple group sessions lasting several hours each. Evaluations of effectiveness varied by study, but variables most commonly demonstrating improvement from mindfulness were anxiety, depression, sleep-related symptoms, coping and perceived stress. Mechanisms by which these outcomes may have been mediated included increases in self-compassion and psychological flexibility. There is insufficient evidence to recommend mindfulness as an effective way to manage all fibromyalgia symptoms; however, promise lies in its usefulness addressing mood- and sleep-related symptoms. We suggest that further, more rigorous, research is warranted.