• A comparison of varied and generalised mindfulness interventions on cold-induced pain in healthy adults

      Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Fleming, Suzanne (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      Mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular, not only in mainstream culture, but in a therapeutic context as well. Current research has shown that mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) can be used to manage pain as well as psychological distress. This raises fundamental questions about how interventions should be standardised and delivered. The aim of this study was to trial two MBIs, a ‘varied’ approach against a ‘generalised’ approach, and compare their efficacy. Twenty-two participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires to establish baseline levels of mindfulness before completing a cold-pressor task designed to measure their pain tolerance. After completing either of the 15 minute mindfulness training, participants’ mindfulness levels and pain tolerances were reassessed. It was thought that after receiving one of these mindfulness-based interventions, participants would experience an increase in pain tolerance, as measured by a cold-pressor. It was also theorised that mindfulness training would have a positive effect on participants’ self-reported mindfulness. Contrary to expectations, the results did not reveal any significant interaction between either mindfulness interventions on pain tolerance nor self-reported mindfulness. Although the hypotheses were not supported, existing research recognises the complexities in defining and generalising mindfulness. Further work is needed to explore the underlying mechanisms of mindfulness and to establish the viability of providing therapist-free mindfulness training as method of pain-reduction.