Both therapies were delivered in group format for 2 hours per week over an 8-week period.
In the comparison trial, the MBSR group were offered an optional 6-hour retreat. In another mind–body program, the 8-week group MBSR program was followed by six monthly sessions.
Participants in both types of therapy were also given workbooks, audio CDs and instructions for home practice (meditation, body scan, yoga in MBSR, relaxation, and imagery in CBT).
Between sessions, participants were asked to read chapters of Turk DW and Winter F, The pain survival guide: How to reclaim your life (see Consumer resources).
The MBSR program does not focus specifically on any condition (such as pain).
The trial program was adapted from Blacker M, Meleo-Meyer F, Kabat-Zinn J, Santorelli SF. Stress reduction clinic mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) curriculum guide (2009) which is modelled on the original MBSR program (Kabat-Zinn J. Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and Illness, 2005). (See References)
Each session included didactic content and mindfulness practice (body scan, yoga, and meditation – attention to thoughts emotions, and sensations in the present moment without trying to change them, sitting meditation with awareness of breathing, and walking meditation).
The CBT intervention included techniques most commonly applied and studied for chronic LBP.
The program included:
- psychoeducation about chronic pain, the relationships between thoughts and emotional and physical reactions, sleep hygiene, relapse prevention, and maintenance of gains
- instruction and practice in changing dysfunctional thoughts, setting and working toward behavioural goals, relaxation skills (abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery), activity pacing, and pain-coping strategies.