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Papers of the Week

Papers: 29 Jul 2023 - 4 Aug 2023

2023 Jul 29

J Pain


Mindfulness-Based Intervention effect on the psychophysiological marker of self-regulation in women with endometriosis-related chronic pain.


Moreira MF, Gamboa OL, Oliveira MAP


Endometriosis is a gynecological disease that involves a broad biopsychosocial compromise with the potential to create a negative vicious cycle. Despite the complexity of factors influencing women’s improvement, most interventions investigated target just the peripheral nociceptive sources of endometriosis-related pain. An alternative is intervening in self-regulation, which can potentially influence multiple domains of the illness experience. The present study examines the effect of a brief Mindfulness-Based Intervention (bMBI) on attention and ANS regulation in women with endometriosis-related pain. Also, explore the interaction between these self-regulation domains and the affective pain dimension. An exploratory analysis of the secondary outcomes of a pilot RCT was performed. The vagally-mediated Heart Rate Variability (vmHRV) at rest, cognitive stress, and recovery, was employed to measure autonomic regulation. The Flanker and Stroop tasks were used to estimate the attention domains. Results showed that bMBI (n= 26) significantly improved Flanker accuracy and Flanker and Stroop reaction time compared to the control group (n= 28). bMBI significantly increased vmHRV at rest and recovery after cognitive stress. Attention mediated the bMBI effect on affective pain improvement but was associated with vmHRV reduction. This last effect was driven by women in the control group that increased attention performance with an associated decrease in parasympathetic tone, unlike those in the mindfulness group that increased attention efficiency under a higher parasympathetic tone. Results suggest that bMBI improves self-regulation domains with the potential to develop a broad biopsychosocial benefit in the endometriosis context. PERSPECTIVE: This article demonstrates the positive impact of a brief Mindfulness-Based Intervention on attention and parasympathetic regulation in women suffering from endometriosis-related pain. This mindfulness-induced self-regulation improvement can benefit affective pain and potentially multiple psychophysiological processes relevant to endometriosis.