First Advisor

Claire Wheeler

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Studies: Health Sciences and University Honors


Health Studies


Chronic pain -- Alternative treatment, Backache -- Alternative treatment, Meditation -- Therapeutic use, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, Mindfulness (Psychology)




This thesis is a comprehensive review of the literature on the efficacy of meditation an adjunctive treatment for chronic lower back pain management. Nine published studies were identified by a comprehensive search of peer-reviewed literature. The studies vary methodologically in their organization and designs as well as by sample size, with the largest study including 282 participants and the smallest including 8 participants. The studies were compared and contrasted based on experimental design, measured outcomes or assessments, and research findings. The main outcomes measured across the studies included changes in functional mobility, pain bothersomeness, acceptance and awareness, and changes in depressive states, the results of which were variable. The differences in results may be contributable to inconsistencies between the organization and design of each study. Overall, the studies supported meditation, specifically the MBSR program, as a beneficial additional method of treatment for chronic lower back pain management. Given the increasing need for effective treatments that target chronic pain management, greater adherence to the consistency in the organization and design of randomized control studies to that of the MBSR clinical procedures, must be emphasized in order to evaluate the efficacy of the MBSR program as a valuable adjunctive treatment.


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