Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Defibrillators, Implantable; Mind-Body Therapies; Meditation; Relaxation Therapy
Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases
Background. Meditation practices are associated with a reduction in adrenergic activity that may benefit patients with severe cardiac arrhythmias. This paper describes the design and methods of a pilot study testing the feasibility of a phone-delivered mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) for treatment of anxiety in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).
Design and Methods. Consecutive, clinically stable outpatients (n = 52) will be screened for study eligibility within a month of an ICD-related procedure or ICD shock and will be randomly assigned to MBI or to usual care. MBI patients will receive eight weekly individual phone sessions based on two mindfulness practices (awareness of breath and body scan) plus home practice with a CD for 20 minutes daily. Patients assigned to usual care will be offered the standard care planned by the hospital. Assessments will occur at baseline and at the completion of the intervention (between 9 and 12 weeks after randomization). The primary study outcome is feasibility; secondary outcomes include anxiety, mindfulness, and number of administered shocks during the intervention period.
Conclusions. If proven feasible and effective, phone-delivered mindfulness-based interventions could improve psychological distress in ICD outpatients with serious cardiovascular conditions.