T-32 Post-Doctoral Fellows Present at ICIMH 2018

Posted On: May 11th, 2018

T-32 Post-Doctoral Fellows Present at ICIMH 2018

At this year’s International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health, many of the Harvard Medical School Research Fellows in Integrative Medicine, led by the Osher Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, presented posters on their research.

Christina Luberto, PhD, Harvard Medical School Research Fellow in Integrative Medicine. Dr. Luberto received the Young Investigator Award and Citation Poster Award for her poster titled “Exploring mechanisms of tai chi for improving quality of life and depression symptoms in heart failure patients“.

Dr. Christina Luberto presented the following four posters:

Title: Exploring mechanisms of tai chi for improving quality of life and depression symptoms in heart failure patients.

Description: Using data from an RCT of a 12-week tai chi intervention as compared to an attention-matched health education intervention, this study explored the effects of tai chi on social support and behavioral activation, and associations between improvements in these variables and improvements in depression symptoms and quality of life (QoL) among patients with heart failure. We found that tai chi was associated with increases in behavioral activation, but these improvements were not correlated with improved depression symptoms or QoL. There were no significant differences between groups in social support, but at the individual level, improvements in social support were correlated with improvements in depression symptoms for tai chi participants.

Title: Indirect effects of mindfulness on empathic concern and perspective taking through emotional awareness.

Description: This study was an exploratory, cross-sectional survey study conducted among healthy young adults to generate hypotheses for future research regarding potential mechanisms of mindfulness training on increased empathy. Using structural equation modeling, we found that an individual’s ability to notice their own emotional experiences, but not their ability to necessarily understand or label the emotions, accounted for most of the relationship between trait mindfulness and greater levels of empathy for others.

Title: Modified dialectical behavior therapy skills training for emotion dysregulation: a naturalistic practice-based research study in a hospital setting.

Description: This was a practice-based research study to explore the effectiveness of dialectical behavior therapy (an evidence-based behavioral intervention with an emphasis on mindfulness skills) for improving emotion dysregulation and psychopathological symptoms in a real-world clinical setting. We found that patients who were referred and chose to participate in the intervention had elevated symptoms of emotion dysregulation across diverse psychiatric diagnoses, and participation in the intervention was associated with improvements in several aspects of emotion dysregulation and psychopathological symptoms.

Title: Symptoms and treatment preferences for managing distress among ACS patients: Interests in mindfulness and electronic health approaches.

Description: To guide future intervention development efforts, the purpose of this cross-sectional survey study was to explore treatment needs and preferences for behavioral interventions to reduce emotional distress among patients who have had an acute cardiac event. Results indicated that ACS patients report a range of distressing physical, cognitive, and behavioral problems, and most are interested in participating in a mindfulness-based electronic health intervention.

Kristen Kraemer, PhD, Harvard Medical School Research Fellow in Integrative Medicine.

Title: Effects of mindfulness and acceptance interventions on affect tolerance and sensitivity: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Description: Affect tolerance and sensitivity is a transdiagnostic risk factor implicated in the development and maintenance of numerous forms of psychopathology and negative health behaviors. The aim of this poster was to synthesize the available literature evaluating mindfulness and acceptance interventions on affect tolerance and sensitivity. A systematic review in accordance with PRISMA guidelines was conducted. Together, mindfulness and acceptance interventions appear promising for improving affect tolerance and sensitivity across multiple populations.

Daniel Hall, PhD, Harvard Medical School Research Fellow in Integrative Medicine.

Title: Mind-body interventions for fear of cancer recurrence: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Description: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is one of the most distressing and common concerns among adults with a cancer history. Multiple randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have examined mind-body approaches to mitigating FCR. We summarized characteristics of these trials and calculated the magnitude of their effects on decreasing FCR. Overall, we found significant, small-to-medium effects on reduced FCR and identified areas needing further refinement.

J. Leon Morales-Quezada, MD, MSc, PhD, Harvard Medical School Research Fellow in Integrative Medicine.

Title: On field intervention for fear and anxiety secondary to Mexico City earthquake disaster: A case series

Description: Pilot study exploring the effects of electrical median nerve stimulation and heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback, for fear and anxiety immediately after a natural disaster. 6 patients tolerated and responded with significant decrease of anxiety (measured by a standardized anxiety symptoms scale) and physiological markers of autonomic dysregulation (LF/HF HRV ratio). This pilot showed a  safe technique that was feasible to use in a disaster zone.