Study Explores Enhancing Dialysis Treatment with Mindfulness


Apr 6, 2023

Study Explores Enhancing Dialysis Treatment with Mindfulness

Enhancing Dialysis Treatment with Mindfulness: Exploring the Benefits of Integrating Mental Health into Medical Care

Exploring the Mind-Body Connection in Health Research

The mind and body are closely connected, which makes it an exciting field for health researchers to investigate. Rowan University, with funding from the New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF), is conducting a study that explores this connection. Each year, the NJHF gives grants to promote health research and innovation in New Jersey organizations. In 2023, Rowan researchers received over $409,000 to work on 13 different projects related to health and medicine, including studies on stress-induced anxiety in teenagers and stress as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.

Mindfulness Meditation for Dialysis Patients

Jeffrey Greeson, Ph.D., and Lawrence Weisberg, MD, were awarded a $25,000 grant for a one-year clinical trial to examine the possible benefits of mindfulness meditation for patients receiving dialysis. The two of them are collaborating to combine psychology and medicine in order to bring a more human touch to medical practice. Patients with severe kidney disease need dialysis three times a week to stay alive, as their kidneys can no longer function properly. This treatment can be very stressful and anxiety-inducing, which is why Greeson and Weisberg want to see if mindfulness can help.

Pilot Study

In the pilot study, 100 patients will be randomly selected to listen to one of four 15-minute guided exercises during their dialysis treatments. These exercises include mindful breathing, body scan meditation, relaxation response breathing, or an audiobook. The project aims to see if integrating mental health care into regular health care can be beneficial. Greeson believes that a team-based, multidisciplinary approach to health care is essential, which includes psychologists or health psychologists on the health care team. This type of care could be applied to primary care, surgery, or cancer treatment.

The pilot project, in collaboration with DaVita Dialysis Centers in Camden County, New Jersey, will look at biological factors to see if mindfulness has any effect on specific health markers. While many studies show that mindfulness can have a positive impact on people's emotional well-being, there is less evidence on the biological effects of incorporating mindfulness into medical treatments.

Study Goals

Dialysis clinics already collect important clinical information related to patients' health and well-being, so the study will analyze those data along with patient feedback about their experience. Weisberg said,

"We're interested to know whether a mindfulness intervention may make the dialysis treatment less stressful and whether that experiential shift might be associated with important clinical outcomes."

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Could mindfulness tools improve dialysis care? Rowan researchers explore new ideas with 13 New Jersey Health Foundation grants

About the Author

Rich Foreman brings over 30 years of technology leadership to his role of CEO and Co-Founder of KidneySoft.  As founding CTO, Rich led the team that developed the CordicoShield / CordicoFire Wellness App. Cordico was honored with the Sacramento Innovation Award in 2021. After achieving a 7 digit ARR, Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020. Rich has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington, an MPA from Troy State University and was an officer in the U.S. Navy. Rich co-authored his book, "Tap into the Mobile Economy." Rich's blog was listed in Top 20 Marketing Mobile Blogs of 2014. He has been featured on KCRA3, NEWS10, 1170 Tech AM PowerDrive, Business Radio Money 105.5, SiliconIndia, the Sacramento Business Journal, and the Sacramento Bee. Rich is also the Founding Director of the Sacramento Chapter of Startup Grind and served a term as Utility Commissioner for the City of Folsom. Rich is a regular contributor to and StartupSac. Rich was the Co-founder of Apptology which was named Small Business of the Year in 2014 by the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber. He was also the Founding Chief Technology Officer at Cordico. Cordico was acquired by Lexipol in 2020.  Rich also served 4 years as a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps.

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