The Effectiveness of the Mitchell Method Relaxation Technique for Fibromyalgia Symptoms: a Randomised Controlled Trial
1University of Surrey, School of Psychology, Guildford, UK
2University of Technology Auckland, National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience , Auckland, New Zealand
Background:The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mitchell Method Relaxation Technique (MMRT) for reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia. Method: A three arm randomised controlled trial was used to compare effectiveness of a self-applied MMRT (n= 67) to an unspecified attention (n = 66) and a usual care (n = 56). Health outcomes were fatigue, pain sleep, daily functioning, quality of life, depression, anxiety, coping and perceived stress. Assessment was done at baseline, post intervention and one month after intervention. Findings: MANCOVA, followed up with discriminant function analysis identified improvement on outcomes in the MMRT group (p<.005) with small effects for sleep problems (d=0.29, p<.05), sleep inadequacy (d=0.20, p<.05), and significant medium effects on fatigue (d=0.47, p<.05). The one-month follow-up fatigue score was not different to the post-intervention score (p=.246) indicating short-term sustainability of the treatment effect. Pre-post change in pain levels did not vary across three groups, (p=.59).Discussion: MMRT is an effective treatment for pain, sleep problems, and fatigue. The MMRT is proposed as an adjuvant treatment for fibromyalgia.