Purpose of the study
Many people suffer from chest pain where a physical cause cannot be identified, and no medical treatment is needed. The pain can result in individual suffering, difficulty in performing daily activities and work, and frequent visit to doctors. The purpose of this study is to explore alternative ways to manage chest pain. One of these ways is ‘mindfulness’, of which you might have heard. Mindfulness is a skill to train the mind to be in the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance. It enhances the awareness of one’s external surroundings and inner sensations, allowing the individual to step back, and manage difficult experiences differently, understanding what might be most helpful for well-being.
Mindfulness has been used to reduce longstanding pain from any cause when pain persists despite trying all recommended medical treatment(s). It has also been used for managing stress, pain in fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and to prevent recurrent depression. However, there has been no study to evaluate the value of mindfulness in those suffering from chest pain. As a first step, we would like to know whether patients who continue to suffer from chest pain want to participate in a mindfulness programme of 8-weeks and to see if this is a helpful approach for them. We are thus performing a feasibility study to determine some of these unknown factors. For this study, we plan to randomly assign participants to receive either mindfulness with usual care or usual care alone (that you may be receiving through your GP). The process of randomisation is like tossing a coin, and each patient will have a 50-50 chance of being part of the mindfulness programme.