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01-02-2015 | Uitgave 1/2015

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1/2015

Trait mindfulness is associated with blood pressure and interleukin-6: exploring interactions among subscales of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire to better understand relationships between mindfulness and health

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 1/2015
Auteurs:
Lianne M. Tomfohr, Meredith A. Pung, Paul J. Mills, Kate Edwards

Abstract

Mindfulness based interventions have been associated with improvements in physical health; however, the mechanisms underlying these changes are unclear. The current study explored relationships between trait mindfulness, blood pressure (BP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Relationships between physical health variables and (1) a composite score of mindfulness, (2) individual facets of mindfulness and (3) interactions between theoretically relevant pairs of mindfulness subscales were investigated. One hundred and thirty healthy, young adults [M (SD) age = 21.7(2.7) years] reported trait levels of mindfulness (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, subscales include: observing, describing, acting with awareness (AWA), nonjudging and nonreactivity), had their resting BP measured and underwent a blood draw to assesses circulating IL-6 levels. Age, gender, body mass index, race/ethnicity, depression and perceived stress were obtained and used as covariates. A composite score of trait mindfulness was associated with lower BP and a trend suggested that it was also associated with lower IL-6. Investigation of individual facets of mindfulness revealed interactions between the subscales AWA and nonjudging, such that higher endorsement of AWA was associated with lower BP only when nonjudging was also high. A second interaction was observed between the subscales observing and nonreactivity, such that higher endorsement of observing was associated with lower IL-6 only when levels of nonreactivity were also high. Trait mindfulness was associated with both BP and IL-6. Examining interactions between facets of mindfulness variables may be important in understanding how mindfulness based interventions influence physiology.

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