TBI survivor turned researcher Melissa Felteau has not only made personal strides in her own recovery, but has spearheaded initiatives aimed at drawing attention to alternative therapies in TBI treatment. As a recipient of the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation’s research grant, Felteau organized a study on the effects of mindfulness meditation on TBI survivors. Here’s a snippet from her findings:
“Decreasing depression was an intended outcome and most significantly this was achieved as measured by the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). The Mental Health score of the intervention group increased from 37 at baseline to 52 after the intervention. Using a conservative analytical plan (pre-post changes with paired t-tests for the treatment group alone, two-way analyses of variance ANOVA with drop-outs as controls for all measures, and Pearson r coefficients to assess correlations) this finding was both statistically and clinically significant. Using the Beck Depression Index II (BDI-II) cognitive-affective domain scores in the treatment group mean dropped by almost 50% whereas the control group mean increased.”
If you’re not familiar with research-speak, allow me to translate: mindfulness makes a startling difference. As Felteau’s findings reach bigger audiences, we may soon find alternative therapies incorporated into traditional care.