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People w Chronic Medical Problems Needed For Study

People With A Chronic Medical Problems Needed To Take Part In Research Study

We are about to host a trial on using Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to help people with chronic medical problems.

The researchers will shortly be in recruitment phase, looking for out-patients who meet the criteria for entry to the trial. These are:

• stable chronic health problem (such as irritable bowel syndrome; chronic fatigue syndrome, hypertension, cardiac problems; pain etc)
• outpatient (able to travel to the hospital venue)
• 20+ years old
• good command of English language
• willing to work co-operatively in a group setting
• willing and physically able to participate in MBSR training and regular practice, and to keep detailed MBSR practice records
• prepared to complete measures of psychological and physical health

Perhaps you know of a person who might fit this profile. It could even be you!

More about MBSR
The Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme was developed by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, a clinical psychologist, working for the Massachusetts Medical School. There programme is still offered there almost 30 years later, and at 260 other hospitals and medical centres worldwide.

The MBSR research programmes will run over a period of 8 weeks, with a 2 and ½ hour night class one day a week, and a full day “retreat” on a weekend. They will be held at the HB Hospital Education Centre. There will be two groups, one in August/September and one in October/November.

Research participants will be involved in various exercises to develop mindfulness (living in the moment without judgement) including a lying down relaxation/meditation, meditation sitting in a chair and simple stretching exercises. In addition, they will receive education and participate in discussions about handling difficult emotions, communication skills, responding versus reacting to stress, healthy eating, problem solving etc. There is homework too, with practise between classes. CDs and workbooks are provided.

Research participants will be asked to complete questionnaires about their health before they undertake the MBSR research programme, directly after, and then again six months later.

Introduction to the research team
The research team is made up of the Dr Malcolm Arnold and Dr Richard Meech who are advisors to the study. In addition, Jillian Simpson, is a nurse working in primary care, and Tim Mapel a counsellor and lecturer at EIT. They will offer the MBSR programme. As the research is being undertaken in collaboration with EIT, Dr Kay Matthews-Morris, a research professor there, is the study supervisor. Our own research nurse Diana Schmid is supporting the study too.
This study has received a grant from the Hawke’s Bay Medical Research Foundation.

Why do this research?
Dr Malcolm Arnold suggests “this is worthwhile research as there is only so much help doctors can give some patients from a medical point of view. Psychological approaches like MBSR can assist people by giving them better coping mechanisms.”

And that’s basically what the MBSR programme is about, helping people help themselves. It has a good track record at doing this overseas with many people finding their symptoms improve. However MBSR has not been used within the NZ health system and only one other study has been done in New Zealand at Waikato Hospital a couple of years ago. Our study in Hawke’s Bay is replicating this research.

Need more information or want to refer someone to the study?
You will see posters going up around the place about the study. Information sheets for would-be participants will be available through Villa 6.

Co-researchers Jillian Simpson and Tim Mapel can also be contacted for further information and will take the names of people interested in taking part in the research.

Jillian 844 6738 or 021 215 6929 bearcats[at]

Tim 974 8000 ext 5384 tmapel[at]


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