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Sandie Sephton and Paul Salmon

by Sandie Sephton and Paul Salmon

The Role of Mindfulness in Predicting Perceived Stress, Health and Positive Adaptation in College Undergraduates (Sephton PI, Salmon Co-I).  This study aims to examine how “trait” scores of mindfulness (i.e. relatively constant measures) may predict academic stress levels, measured both by self-report and salivary cortisol. Collected in 2007 and 2008 from 85 undergraduate students, data were gathered from participants at two intervals during a semester, using multiple measures of mindfulness, stress, health behavior and psychological well-being.

iPod-Based Coping Skills for Breast Cancer Patients (Sephton, P.I.; Salmon, Co-I). The efficacy of a mindfulness-based meditation intervention to improve coping efforts, reduce perceptions of distress, and improve circadian rhythms, endocrine, and immune function will be explored among female pre-surgical breast cancer patients. The intervention, which was created and recorded by Dr. Salmon, will be provided to participants via an iPod Nano during the surgical and adjuvant treatment phases, up to 6 months following their surgery. Funded by the University of Louisville Intramural Research Grants, Research Initiation Grant and the Undergraduate Research Grant as well as the Nancy R. Gelman Foundation Seed Grant.

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction for Parkinson's Disease Patients and Caregivers (Salmon, PI; Sephton Co-I). Working in collaboration with the University of Louisville Movement Disorder Clinic, we are conducting a pilot study of the impact of Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on Parkinson’s patients and their primary caregivers.  Variables examined in this study include immune function, salivary cortisol, psychophysiological functioning, disease-relevant movement and balance measures, and self-reported physical and psychological functioning.

Psychological Distress and Immune Disruption in Women Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer (Sephton PI, Co-I’s Dhabhar (Stanford), Chagpar (Yale), Psych Dept dissertation of Liz Cash, Ph.D). Examines the associations of proinflammatory immune markers in the systemic circulation with distress and circadian disruption in a sample of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, and examines the relationship between whole blood activation induced immunoprotective T helper (Th)-1 versus pro-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, and Th-2 cytokine responses with distress and circadian disruption. (Funded by the Stanford Cancer Center Developmental Cancer Research Award in Translational Science).