PhD alumni Hants Williams, Susan Silva, Leigh Ann Simmons and Paula Tanabe recently published an article entitled "A telephonic mindfulness-based intervention for persons with sickle cell disease: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial," in the May issue of the Trials.
Abstract: One of the most difficult symptoms for persons with sickle cell disease (SCD) to manage is chronic pain. Chronic pain impacts approximately one-third of persons with SCD and is associated with increased pain intensity, pain behavior, and frequency and duration of hospital visits. A promising category of nonpharmacological interventions for managing both physical and affective components of pain are mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). The primary aim of this study is to conduct a randomized controlled study to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility, as well as to determine the preliminary efficacy, of a telephonic MBI for adults with SCD who have chronic pain. We will enroll 60 adult patients with SCD and chronic pain at an outpatient comprehensive SCD center in the southeastern United States. Patients will be randomized to either an MBI or a wait-listed control group. The MBI group will complete a six-session (60 minutes), telephonically delivered, group-based MBI program. The feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of the MBI regarding pain catastrophizing will be assessed by administering questionnaires at baseline and weeks 1, 3, and 6. In addition, ten randomly selected MBI participants will complete semistructured interviews to help determine intervention acceptability. In this study protocol, we report detailed methods of the randomized controlled trial. Findings of this study will be useful to determine the acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of an MBI for persons with SCD and chronic pain.