Research: NIDICH and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 270

Abstract

NIDICH and COLLEAGUES, 1. Professor and Director of the Center for Social and Emotional Health at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. snidich@mum.edu; 2. Affiliated Research Associate at the Center for Social and Emotional Health at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. seng.angelak@gmail.com 3. Affiliated Research Associate at the Center for Social and Emotional Health at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. blazecompton@gmail.com ; 4. Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. oconnortom@aol.com ; 5. Assistant Director of the Center for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. jsalerno@mum.edu ; 6. Senior Researcher at the Center for Social and Emotional Health at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. rnidich@mum.edu conducted a randomized controlled pilot study to evaluate the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on trauma symptoms in female offenders.

Background

Context: Compared with the general population, trauma experiences are higher among incarcerated women;

Methodology

Objective: To evaluate the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on trauma symptoms in female offenders. Design: Twenty-two inmates at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, OR, with at least 4 months left of incarceration were enrolled in this randomized controlled pilot study. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the TM group (n = 11) or a wait-list control group (n = 11); Main Outcome Measures: Subjects were measured at baseline and 4-month post-test using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian version (PCL-C; primary outcome) with intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and hyperarousal subscales (secondary outcomes). Twenty of the subjects (10 in each group) took part in their treatment assignment and completed post-testing.

Results

Significant reductions were found on total trauma (p < 0.036), intrusive thoughts (p < 0.026), and hyperarousal (p < 0.043) on the PCL-C. Effect sizes ranged from 0.65 to 0.99 for all variables. Eighty-one percent of the TM subjects were compliant with their program.

Conclusion

The results of this study indicate feasibility of the TM program in a female prison population and suggest that TM may be an effective tool for decreasing trauma symptoms. Future large-scale research is warranted.

References

Nidich S1, Seng A2, Compton B3, O'connor T4, Salerno JW5, Nidich R6. Transcendental Meditation and Reduced Trauma Symptoms in Female Inmates: A Randomized Controlled Study. Perm J. 21. 2017.  doi: 10.7812/TPP/16-008. Epub Jan 17 2017.

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