The effect of mindfulness meditation on tension headaches and secretory immunoglobulin A in saliva
AuthorRosdahl, Dana Rae Lillestol
KeywordsHealth Sciences, Nursing.
AdvisorReed, Pamela G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractChronic stress exerts a damaging influence on the physiology of the body and on a person's well-being. There is growing interest in nonpharmacologic interventions to address stress-related health problems, such as tension headaches, the focus of this research. Four research questions were examined: (1) Are there differences in the six study variables (perceived stress, time pressure, spiritual practices, sIgA, and tension headache intensity and duration) between the intervention and comparison groups? (2) What combination of variables best explains sIgA and tension headache intensity and duration? (3) Do spiritual practices function as a mediator of relationships between the psychological variables, sIgA, and headache intensity and duration? (4) How do group, gender, payment, and religious background affect changes in headache intensity and duration over time? A mixed pre-/post-experimental design with pre-/post-longitudinal measurements was used to examine the questions. The sample consisted of 50 women and 14 men with tension headaches, aged 18-70; 34 were randomly assigned to an intervention group and 30 to a comparison group. Intervention participants received an 8-week mindfulness meditation class, 2 hours a week. Comparison participants received an 8-week educational class in headaches, 1½; hours a week. Pre- and post-testing measurements were obtained on study variables and headache intensity and duration, as noted in diaries. Analysis results, using ANCOVA, multiple regression, and growth curve analysis, indicated that (1) the intervention group had a significantly higher post-treatment sIgA level than the comparison group; (2) in the combined groups, 14% of the total variance in sIgA, and 25% of the total in headache intensity post-test was explained by their pre-test scores; 62% of the explained variance in headache duration post-test was explained by its pre-test, sIgA pre-test, and stress post-test; (3) spiritual practices did not function as a mediator within the proposed model; (4) group, gender, payment, or religious background did not relate to a significant decrease in headache symptoms in either group. The intervention of mindfulness meditation affected an increase in sIgA level, had a near significant effect on spiritual practices over time, and did not cause significant changes in perceived stress or time pressure.
Degree ProgramGraduate College