Effectiveness of a Mindfulness Based Group Therapy (MBGT) Using iRest in Improving the Quality of Life in People Who Have Had a Brain Injury: A Pilot Study.

Author: Ovitt, L.

Published date: 2011


Introduction: Acquired brain injury (TBI) is a major health problem in industrialized countries that has reached epidemic proportions. There are numerous physical, neurological and psychiatric consequences of TBI that interfere with a person’s day-to-day functioning. Many people with TBI often have to establish a ‘new baseline’ and re-learn many simple activities, including personal activities of daily living.

Compared to non-disabled individuals, people with brain injury often report to poor quality of life and loss of identity. While physical, neurological and cognitive problems are often addressed in rehabilitation; little attention is paid to a person’s sense of quality of life. It is well known that rehabilitation is a multi-factorial process integrating numerous factors such as person’s sense of awareness of deficits, motivation to get better and emotional issues, all of which are important aspects of quality of life. Pharmacological interventions are important and can help with recovery but they often target certain specific syndromes.

Therefore, a more holistic approach, including a combination of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy is necessary. There is recent evidence that Integrative Restoration (iRest); a mindfulness based group therapy is efficacious in the treatment of many debilitating conditions such as persistent pain, anxiety and even chronic medical illnesses. The advantages of a mindfulness based group therapy in addition to other types of psychotherapy are that it is easy to learn, it is complete in 10 weeks, it can be done either in individual therapy or group therapy, the patient can continue it for life and learns lifelong skills that can be applied in future experiences, the patient tailors it to their own needs with very little intervention from the from the therapist. As far as it is known only one study by Beddard et al (2003) has assessed the efficacy of mindfulness based group therapy in improving the quality of life in people with TBI. The goal of this pilot study was to replicate the findings of the study by Beddard, et al., and use the data to design a larger funded study.

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