A relaxation technique enhances psychological well-being and immune parameters in elderly people from a nursing home: A randomized controlled study

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Title: A relaxation technique enhances psychological well-being and immune parameters in elderly people from a nursing home: A randomized controlled study
Authors: Reig-Ferrer, Abilio | Ferrer-Cascales, Rosario | Santos-Ruiz, Ana | Campos Ferrer, Adolfo | Prieto Seva, Álvaro | Velasco-Ruiz, Irene | Fernández-Pascual, M. Dolores | Albaladejo-Blázquez, Natalia
Research Group/s: Calidad de Vida, Bienestar Psicológico y Salud | Psicología de la Delincuencia, Psicocriminología y Ciencias Forenses (PSIDECRIMYCIF)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Psicología de la Salud
Keywords: Elderly | Immune system | Meditation | Nursing homes | Quality of life | Relaxation response | Tranquilization
Knowledge Area: Personalidad, Evaluación y Tratamiento Psicológico | Psicología Básica
Issue Date: 23-Aug-2014
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014, 14:311. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-311
Abstract: Background: The aging process involves a decline in immune functioning that renders elderly people more vulnerable to disease. In residential programs for the aged, it is vital to diminish their risk of disease, promote their independence, and augment their psychological well-being and quality of life. Methods: We performed a randomized controlled study, evaluating the ability of a relaxation technique based on Benson’s relaxation response to enhance psychological well-being and modulate the immune parameters of elderly people living in a geriatric residence when compared to a waitlist control group. The study included a 2-week intervention period and a 3-month follow-up period. The main outcome variables were psychological well-being and quality of life, biomedical variables, immune changes from the pre-treatment to post-treatment and follow-up periods. Results: Our findings reveal significant differences between the experimental and control groups in CD19, CD71, CD97, CD134, and CD137 lymphocyte subpopulations at the end of treatment. Furthermore, there was a decrease in negative affect, psychological discomfort, and symptom perception in the treatment group, which increased participants’ quality of life scores at the three-month follow-up. Conclusions: This study represents a first approach to the application of a passive relaxation technique in residential programs for the elderly. The method appears to be effective in enhancing psychological well-being and modulating immune activity in a group of elderly people. This relaxation technique could be considered an option for achieving health benefits with a low cost for residential programs, but further studies using this technique in larger samples of older people are needed to confirm the trends observed in the present study. Trial registration: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register ISRCTN85410212.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/40681
ISSN: 1472-6882
DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-311
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2014 Reig-Ferrer et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-311
Appears in Collections:INV - CV, BP Y S - Artículos de Revistas
INV - PSYBHE - Artículos de Revistas

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