Effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention in the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain in Nursing Workers

      Abstract

      Background

      Chronic pain is a prevalent disorder in nursing workers worldwide. Several studies have proposed measures to mitigate this critical scenario. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) have been found to have promising results in the treatment of this disorder.

      Aims

      To quantify the effectiveness of an adapted mindfulness program (AMP) in the management of musculoskeletal pain (MSP) in nursing technicians of a Brazilian university hospital.

      Design

      This study was a clinical, prospective, open, repeated measures trial, with data collection between January and July 2015.

      Settings

      Brazilian university hospital.

      Participants/Subjects

      Sixty-four female nursing technicians with a mean age of 47.01 years (standard deviation = 9.50) with chronic pain symptoms.

      Methods

      Sixty-four female nursing technicians with a mean age of 47.01 years (standard deviation = 9.50) and MSP participated in this prospective study. Before the intervention (T0), scores of anxiety, depression, mindfulness, musculoskeletal complaints, pain catastrophizing, self-compassion, and perception of quality of life were quantified. These scores were reevaluated after 8 weeks (T1) and 12 weeks (T2) of weekly AMP sessions (60 minutes each). The variables were evaluated by analysis of variance for repeated measures, followed by the Bonferroni test.

      Results

      AMP reduced the scores of musculoskeletal symptoms, anxiety, depression, and pain catastrophizing (p < .001). A significant increase was identified in self-compassion scores and perception of quality of life in the physical, psychological, and overall assessment (p ≤ .04). Positive effects of AMP occurred at T1 and remained unchanged at T2.

      Conclusion

      AMP contributed to a reduction in painful symptoms and improved the quality of life of nursing workers, with a lasting effect until the 20th week of follow-up, indicating utility as an effective strategy for the management of MSP in the group studied.
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