Abstract 11402: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Group Support Decrease Stress, Anxiety and Depression in Adolescents With Cardiac Diagnoses: A Randomized Two-Group Study
Introduction: Adolescents with cardiac diagnoses face unique challenges that can cause psychosocial distress. Psychosocial interventions are effective for adults with cardiac diagnoses and may also impact adolescents’ adjustment. This study compares a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program to a video online support group (VG) for adolescents with cardiac diagnoses. MBSR is a structured psycho-educational program which includes yoga, meditation, cognitive restructuring and group support. A published feasibility study by our group showed significant reduction in anxiety following MBSR intervention.
Methods: This study was a prospective, randomized, two-group design. Participants were randomized to MBSR or VG and completed measures of anxiety and depression (A/D) (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), stress and coping (Responses to Stress Questionnaire) pre-and post their 6-session intervention. Qualitative data were obtained from post-intervention interviews.
Results: Mean age of the sample (N=46) was 14.8 yrs; 63% were female. Eleven participants (24%) had an ICD, 7 (15%) had a pacemaker, 24 (52%) had congenital heart disease, 22 (48%) had POTS. There were 26 (56%) participants in the MBSR group and 20 (43%) in the VG. Study completion rate was 95% (44/46). Stress significantly decreased in both groups [t(44)=3.7, p=.001]. Greater use of coping skills predicted lower levels of post-intervention depression (r=-.30, p=.04). Higher baseline A/D scores predicted improved A/D scores post-intervention (A: r=.43, p=.01, D: r=.36, p=.02). Qualitatively, both groups reported the benefits of social support, with MBSR participants reporting using learned coping skills to help manage stress and heart symptoms.
Conclusion: Both interventions were effective in reducing distress in this adolescent sample. Qualitative data elucidated the added benefits of using MBSR techniques to manage stress. The video group format is useful for teens who are unable to meet in person but can benefit from group support. Both groups spontaneously exchanged contact information, wanting to continue as a group. Psychosocial interventions with stress management techniques and/or group support can reduce distress in adolescents with cardiac diagnoses.
Author Disclosures: V.A. Freedenberg: None. P.S. Hinds: None. C.I. Berul: None. E. Friedmann: None.
- © 2016 by American Heart Association, Inc.