Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Kendra Garrett

Abstract

Chronic pain affects one-third to one-half of individuals living in the United States. Individuals with chronic pain incur billions of dollars in healthcare costs annually, and as a result of reduced productivity and sick days taken because of pain, companies lose billions of dollars annually. Chronic pain results in a decrease in quality of life, including limited physical functioning, compromised relationships, difficulty sleeping, and psychological issues. Chronic pain is both a physical and psychological issue, and the current biomedical approach falls short in addressing the intricate psychological components. This study investigated the impact of a half-day mindfulness meditation workshop on participants’ reported ability to self-manage pain. Eleven individuals voluntarily participated in the study. The researcher administered a pre-test and two post-tests that measured participants’ level of dispositional mindfulness, use of adaptive coping strategies, pain severity, and interference in daily life. The findings of the study were inconclusive. While small improvements were measured in all areas, the data could not be considered statistically significant. The findings suggest that more research needs to be conducted in order to better understand the effects mindfulness meditation can have on an individual’s perceived ability to self-manage pain.

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