Self-reported health and satisfaction of patients with chronic diseases who meditate: a case–control study

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Journal Article
Quality of Life Research, 2014, 23 (9), pp. 2639 - 2644
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© 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Purpose: While many clinical trials suggest that meditation is effective in reducing disease-related symptoms and increasing quality of life in diseased samples, subjective health benefits associated with the use of meditation under naturalistic conditions have not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in quality of life, mental health, and satisfaction in patients with chronic diseases who regularly use meditation versus those who do not.Methods: The study applied a case–control design. Patients with chronic diseases who regularly used meditation were selected from a larger observational trial and compared to matched control patients who did not meditate regularly. They were compared in terms of their reported quality of life (SF-36 questionnaire), mental health (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), life and health satisfaction (Questionnaire for Life Satisfaction), and medication usage as well as health locus of control (German version of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale).Results: A total of 115 meditators and 115 controls were compared. Cases showed higher quality of life on the bodily pain subscale, higher internal and less external health locus of control, and higher life satisfaction than controls. No group differences were found for general health perception, most other aspects of quality of life, anxiety, depression, and medication use and health satisfaction.Conclusions: Regular practice of meditation was not clearly associated with better health perception in chronically diseased patients. However, those who regularly used meditation reported better pain-related quality of life and are more satisfied with their life.
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