Mindfulness-based stress reduction in an integrated care delivery system: one-year impacts on patient-centered outcomes and health care utilization.
BACKGROUND: Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs have demonstrated clinical effectiveness for both mental and physical health conditions. Less research exists on health services utilization, self-efficacy, or work productivity outcomes. OBJECTIVE: To assess one-year outcomes of MBSR in patients with chronic pain, chronic illness, or stress-related problems, measuring functional status, pain, self-efficacy, depression, anxiety, somatization, psychological distress, work productivity, and changes in health services utilization. METHODS: A prospective single cohort design evaluated an eight-week MBSR program for Kaiser Permanente Colorado members. Patient-reported measures were collected at baseline, eight weeks, and one year following MBSR. Differences in health services utilization were compared from six months before MBSR to six months following the one-year anniversary of MBSR. RESULTS: Most of the 38 participants were white (28; 74%), female (30; 79%), employed part-time (35; 92%), and average age 52.6 years, with multiple comorbidities (averaging 16.4 unique diagnoses), the most common being joint or back pain (28; 74%) and psychological disorder (20; 53%). Repeated measures analyses at 8 weeks (n = 26) and at 1 year (n = 24) showed significant improvements in self-reported mental and physical function, pain, psychological symptoms, and self-efficacy, but not work productivity. Significant decreases at 1 year were observed for visits in primary care (-50%, p < 0.0001), specialty care (-38%, p = 0.0004), and the Emergency Department (-50%, p = 0.04), and for hospital admissions (-80%, p = 0.02). CONCLUSION: The MBSR program was associated with improvements in several patient-centered outcomes over 1 year and reductions in health services utilization up to 18 months.