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New research in mindfulness
Maya McGregor, Research Coordinator, BCCH Centre for Mindfulness
Family mindfulness versus medication for children with ADHD

Medication is often the first treatment option for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While medication can greatly improve symptoms, it does not work for everyone and it can cause significant side effects such as anxiety, loss of sleep and loss of appetite. Mindfulness-based interventions can provide an option for non-pharmacological treatments in ADHD. In this study, the authors examined how family mindfulness groups compared to medication for children with ADHD. 

Both approaches showed improvements in ADHD symptoms and attention skills over two and four months. Medication was more effective in improving behavioral measures in the short term, although both groups did equally well on neuropsychological measures of attention skills. Overall, the study suggests that mindfulness and medication are both viable options to help children with ADHD, but more research is needed to understand their differential effects.

References

Meppelink, R., de Bruin, E. I., Zoller, B. K., Oort, F. J., & Bögels, S. M. (2024). Child and Parent Mindfulness-Based Training Versus Medication for Childhood ADHD: A Randomised Clinical Trial. Mindfulness.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-024-02305-w

https://goamra.org/news/13335064

 

Effect of mindfulness meditation on back pain 

In this study, the authors investigated the effects of mindfulness meditation versus sham meditation on chronic low back pain. Participants were randomly assigned to either group and underwent four 20-minute meditation sessions. 

The mindfulness training focused on accepting thoughts and feelings, recognizing their passing nature, and returning attention to the breath. In contrast, sham meditation training emphasized breathing deeply in a meditative posture without additional instructions.

Both types of meditation helped reduce pain, but mindfulness meditation was significantly more effective. Surprisingly, even when researchers blocked the body's natural pain relief system with a drug called Naloxone, both types of meditation still reduced pain. This suggests that meditation's pain-relief effects may not solely rely on the body's opioids. Instead, mindfulness meditation's focus on non-reactive attention seems to play a key role in reducing pain. 

References

Khatib, L., Dean, J. G., Oliva, V., Riegner, G., Gonzalez, N. E., Birenbaum, J., Cruanes, G. F., Miller, J., Patterson, M., Kim, H.-C., Chakravarthy, K., & Zeidan, F. (2023). The role of endogenous opioids in mindfulness and sham mindfulness-meditation for the direct alleviation of evoked chronic low back pain: A randomized clinical trial. Neuropsychopharmacology. 

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41386-023-01766-2

https://goamra.org/news/13291053

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