The Effect of Meditation, Mindfulness, and Yoga in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel
OBJECTIVES: Mind-body therapies (MBTs), including meditation, yoga, and mindfulness, create an interaction between the mind and body to enhance health. MBTs are perceived by both patients and healthcare professionals as valuable in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the extent of this contribution is unclear, as are the patient subgroups who benefit most from MBTs. Therefore, this systematic literature review investigates the effects of meditation, mindfulness, and yoga in patients with RA.
METHODS: We searched four databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science (core collection, Chinese and Korean collection), and CINAHL). All studies were screened by two independent reviewers via the title/abstract/full text. The studies included any form of meditation/mindfulness/yoga as an intervention for RA. Animal studies, case reports, non-English articles, qualitative studies, conference abstracts, and articles without full-text access were excluded. Each study was assessed for its quality.
RESULTS: Out of 1527 potentially eligible records, 23 studies were included. All three MBTs showed various effects on patient-reported outcomes, such as vitality, functioning, and mental health, as well as on disease activity markers. Mindfulness-based interventions mainly reduced the subjective disease activity parameters (e.g., joint tenderness, morning stiffness, and pain), rather than the objective disease activity parameters (e.g., swollen joints and C-reactive protein (CRP)). RA patients with recurrent depression may benefit more from these non-pharmacological therapies than patients without recurrent depression.
DISCUSSION: This systematic literature review found that MBTs show added value in RA management, especially for patients with depressive symptoms. These non-pharmacological approaches, when used in addition to medication, might diminish polypharmacy in specific RA patient populations. Lay Summary: In recent decades, more attention has been given to the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with options other than solely using medication. Such alternative options for patients to increase their quality of life are, for instance, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness. These examples of mind-body therapies (MBTs) are techniques that create an interaction between the mind and the bodily functions in order to obtain relaxation and enhance overall health. Although it is believed that these mind-body techniques are valuable in the management of RA, the extent of their contribution is still unclear, as is the question of if certain subgroups of patients benefit more from these complementary therapies. This systematic literature review investigated the effects of meditation, mindfulness, and yoga in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A literature search was systematically performed within four different scientific databases by two independent reviewers. Out of 1527 potentially eligible articles, 23 studies were included. All three MBTs showed beneficial effects, which were mostly on the vitality, functioning, and mental health of patients with RA, but also on symptoms related to disease activity. RA patients with recurrent depression seemed to benefit more from these non-pharmacological therapies than patients without recurrent depression. Hence, we can conclude that MBTs show added value in the management of RA.