Journal Club Discussion #8: Mind-Body Interventions in Hand Therapy

Hey readers! Something that we have talked about quite a bit at school is mindfulness. While I am not an expert in this, it is something that I see the value in and am interested in learning more about. So, this week’s journal club discussion is mindfulness in hand therapy. The article that we will be reading this week is called “Effects of Mind-Body Interventions on Stress, Anxiety, and Pain in Hand Therapy Patients” by Mark Hardison, MS, OTR/L. You can find the article here if you are an AOTA member!

Background Info

Over $5 billion is spent each year in outpatient therapy (as cited in Hardison, 2018). This is a pilot study to determine the effectiveness of mindfulness and biofeedback in hand therapy interventions, leading the way for a large-scale randomized control trial. The methods being tested in this study were mindfulness using a 20-minute full body scan guided meditation and 20-minute visual biofeedback using sonography, both of which were followed by standard care. The results were determined using salivary cortisol to assess stress, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and a visual analog scale for pain (Hardison, 2018).

The Results

Stress, anxiety, and pain each decreased with intervention. There was a significant difference in anxiety levels based on time, and a trend of decreased stress also based on time. The researcher stated that mind-body interventions may serve as an effective preparatory intervention before standard care in order to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain in OT sessions. Read more about it in the article!

What I Think

I think that mindfulness can be a really powerful intervention tool when used among the right populations and conditions. One of my professors always does a mindful minute before class, especially before exams, and it is really helpful in allowing myself and my peers prepare ourselves for the day. I can see how this would also be beneficial among clients before an OT session or on their own at home.

Question of the Week: Do you use mindfulness in your practice? If so, in what setting and with what methods? Comment below!

Citation: Hardison, M. (2018) “Effects of mind-body interventions on stress, anxiety, and pain in hand therapy patients.” American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2018.72S1-RP302C

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