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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as an Adjunct Treatment to Diabetes

8 August 2014


Background: Diabetes is a significant health problem currently and is linked to a variety of mental health issues. In order to adequately control this disease, patients must have good mental health status and methods of dealing with stress. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a technique people can use in all facets of their life for decreasing their level of mental stress. This review looks at the effects of using MBSR on glycemic control in diabetic patients.

Methods: An exhaustive search of available medical literature was performed using Medline-OVID, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and EBMR Multifile. Keywords used included: diabetes, diabetes mellitus type I, diabetes mellitus type II, diabetes mellitus, mindfulness, and meditation.

Results: 21 articles were reviewed for relevancy. Three studies were found, including 2 RCTs and one observational study. One of the three studies found a drop in HbA1C and all showed improvements in mental health of the participants. The overall quality of the studies was low and further study would need to be done to follow up with patients for a longer period of time.

Conclusion: MBSR cannot be used as a reliable method for glycemic control, but it is a safe and useful strategy to use with patients for stress management who are open to the therapy.


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