Context: Certain meditation practices may effectively address spiritual needs near end-of-life, an often overlooked aspect of quality of life (QOL). Among people subject to physical isolation, meditation benefits may be blunted unless physical contact is also addressed. Objective: To evaluate independent and interactive effects of Metta meditation and massage on QOL in people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Design: Randomized controlled blinded factorial pilot trial conducted from November 2001 to September 2003. Setting: An AIDS-dedicated skilled nursing facility in New Haven, Connecticut. Participants: Fifty-eight residents (43% women) with late stage disease (AIDS or comorbidity). Interventions: Residents were randomized to 1 month of meditation, massage, combined meditation and massage, or standard care. The meditation group received instruction, then self-administered a meditation audiocassette daily. A certified massage therapist provided the massage intervention 30 minutes per day 5 days per week. Outcome measure: Changes on Missoula-Vitas QOL Index overall and transcendent (spiritual) scores at 8 weeks. Results: The combined group showed improvement in overall (p = 0.005) and transcendent (p = 0.01) scores from baseline to 8 weeks, a change significantly greater (p < 0.05) than the meditation, massage, and control groups. Conclusions: The combination of meditation and massage has a significantly favorable influence on overall and spiritual QOL in late-stage disease relative to standard care, or either intervention component alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine