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Context: Persons using one group of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may differ in important ways from users of other CAM therapies. Objectives: The aim of this study was to characterize the United States (US) adult population using exclusively mind-body medicine (MBM) and to determine if their characteristics differed from those using exclusively non-vitamin natural products. Design/Setting: Using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and its periodic supplement on CAM use, descriptive characteristics of exclusive MBM users, as well as those using exclusively non-vitamin natural products were identified. Patients: A total of 75,764 persons completing the 2007 NHIS with adults aged 18 years and older. Main Outcome Measures: Characteristics of MBM users, prevalence of MBM use, and characteristics of exclusive MBM users compared to exclusive non-vitamin natural product users. Results: Among CAM users (N = 83,013,655), 21.8% of the adult population (age 18 or older) reported using exclusive MBM therapy. In multivariate models, exclusive MBM use was associated with female gender, higher educational attainment, younger age, residing in Northeast US, being Asian or black race, and a current smoker compared to those using exclusive non-vitamin natural products. Using bivariate comparisons, individuals that exclusively used MBM were more likely to be white females (60.5%), in a younger age category (18-39 years), educated beyond high school (68.3%), and more likely from the Southern US (32.4%). A greater level of depression in MBM users was noted compared to non-vitamin natural product users (6.6%).

Clinical studies of MBSR have reported efficacy in treating pain, mood disorders, arthritis, sleep disturbances, and stress. Several academic medical institutions in the United States offer MBSR to their patients, but it has never been offered at Mayo Clinic. The objective of this study was to collect quality-of-life data from subjects who participated in the first MBSR program offered at Mayo Clinic. The class was taught as a collaborative effort with the University of Minnesota that had an established MBSR program. Sixteen participants completed a validated, 12-question, linear analogue self-assessment instrument, administered at the beginning and end of the program. Comparison of assessment scores using paired t-tests showed statistically significant improvement in overall quality of life (P = 0.04), mental well-being (P = 0.005), physical well-being (P < 0.001), emotional well-being (P < 0.001), level of social activity (P = .02), and spiritual well-being (P = 0.006). Although positive changes also were observed for frequency of pain, severity of pain, level of fatigue, level of support from friends and family, and financial and legal concerns, they were not statistically significant. A short intervention in the education of mindfulness significantly improved quality of life for participants.