Mindfulness Studies Program

Paul Salmon, Ph.D. – Principal Investigator

Clinical research at the University's Biobehavioral Laboratory and Mindfulness Studies Program in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences has demonstrated the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program in reducing stress associated with chronic illlness. 'Mindfulness' refers to living in the present moment, literally focusing one's attention in the 'here and now', from one moment to the next. A clinical intervention based on the concept was originally developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Clinical studies of MBSR for unremitting pain, cancer, psoriasis, and other chronic medical conditions have reported overall positive results. We conducted a randomized control trial with women suffering from fibromyalgia and found that it reduced depression and enhanced both sense of coherence and self-efficacy. Currently we are evaluating the impact of MBSR on stress experienced by persons with Parkinson's Disease and caregivers.