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The Relaxation vs. Retreat Study (R&R)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
 
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01857830
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 20, 2013
Last Update Posted : August 21, 2013
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of California, San Francisco

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this research study is to examine whether a short term meditation intervention can improve health, mood, and biological markers of cellular stress and aging in novice and experienced meditators compared to controls.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Stress Ageing Wellbeing Behavioral: Meditation Retreat Behavioral: Active Comparator Relaxation Group Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

There are 3 parts to this research study, Part A, B, and C.

In Part A, participants complete a brief online questionnaire sent to them via email by the study coordinator.

During Part B of the study, participants stay at La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA for 6 nights and participate in a meditation retreat being held at the resort, or stay at the resort without participating in the retreat. During their stay, participants attend two in-person research assessments throughout the week. Assessments will be 4 days (96 hours) apart for all participants and will include a fasting blood draw, body measurements, and self-report questionnaires.

Part C of the study includes a brief online questionnaire that is completed 1 month after participants leave La Costa Resort.

This study includes 3 groups: a group of "novice meditators" from the greater San Diego Region that are randomized into either the 1) Relaxation (Control) group or 2) Retreat group. The third group is comprised of self-selected "experienced meditators" who are already enrolled in the retreat. In total, 99 participants were recruited for this study.

The Retreat group stays at La Costa Resort and attends a 6 day meditation retreat intervention as well as completes all research study assessments and questionnaires.

The Relaxation (Control) group stays at La Costa Resort for 6 nights, but does not attend the meditation retreat. They attend once daily lectures on science topics and complete all research study assessments and questionnaires.

The Experienced Retreat group participants have an ongoing meditation practice and have enrolled themselves in the April 2013 meditation retreat. All of the Experienced meditators attend the meditation retreat and complete all research study assessments and questionnaires.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 96 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: The Effect of a Short Term Meditation Retreat on Markers of Cellular Stress and Aging
Study Start Date : April 2013
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2013

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Meditation Retreat Group
Participants in this group will participate in a 6 day meditation retreat at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA. They will be self-selected to participate in the retreat or are novice meditators randomized into this retreat.
Behavioral: Meditation Retreat
The intervention is a one week meditation and yoga retreat hosted at the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, CA.

Active Comparator: Relaxation/Control Group
Participants in this group will stay at La Costa Resort and spa for a 6 day period and will participate in the Active Comparator Relaxation Group activities (i.e. series of lectures on longevity and health, shared meals, and other leisure activities).
Behavioral: Active Comparator Relaxation Group
Participants are randomized to stay at La Costa Resort and Spa for 6 days. Participants will receive daily meals similar to the meals for those in the retreat group. Participants will also receive a daily one hour lecture on topics related to longevity and health.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Telomerase [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline in Telomerase 96 hours later ]
    Participants blood will be drawn by licensed phlebotomist on the day after their arrival at La Costa Resort at their baseline assessment and again 96 hours later at their follow-up assessment. Telomerase will be measured at both time points.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Amyloid Beta Proteins [ Time Frame: Change from baseline in Amyloid Beta Proteins, 96 hours later ]
    Participants blood will be drawn by licensed phlebotomist on the day after their arrival at La Costa Resort at their baseline assessment and again 96 hours later at their follow-up assessment. Amyloid beta protein levels will be measured in the blood at both time points.

  2. Psychological Well being [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline in psychological well being at 96 hours, and 1 month later. ]
    We will collect self reported measures of vitality, purpose in life, perceived stress, rumination, self-compassion, mindfulness, presence in the moment, mind wandering, depression, acceptance and action, and body responsiveness in questionnaires. Participants complete questionnaires before arriving at La Costa (baseline), after their stay (follow-up) and one month after they leave (1-month follow-up). Additionally, they complete daily questionnaires that ask about their daily experiences (emotions, stress).

  3. Oxytocin [ Time Frame: Change from baseline in Oxytocin at 96 hours later. ]
    Plasma is saved from baseline and 96 hour followup for oxytocin assays.

  4. Telomere Length [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline in Telomere Length, 96 hours later ]
    Participants blood will be drawn by licensed phlebotomist on the day after their arrival at La Costa Resort at their baseline assessment and again 96 hours later at their follow-up assessment. Telomere Length will be measured at both time points.

  5. Gene Expression [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline in Gene Expression, 96 hours later ]
    Participants blood will be drawn by licensed phlebotomist on the day after their arrival at La Costa Resort at their baseline assessment and again 96 hours later at their follow-up assessment. Patterns of gene expression (specifically on genes related to aging) will be measured at both time points.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.


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Ages Eligible for Study:   30 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy
  • Women
  • Age 30-60
  • "Novice Meditator" (meditates for 30 minutes per week or less) or "Experienced Meditator" (meditates at 40 or more per week and for more than 6 months, and are self-selected/enrolled in the retreat)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current or history of a major medical condition (such as cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease, diabetes)
  • Smokers (have not smoked regularly for the past 6 months)
  • Currently taking antidepressants
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Currently taking Hormone Replacement Therapy or birth control pills

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01857830


Locations
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United States, California
Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Carlsbad, California, United States, 92009
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, San Francisco
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Elissa Epel, PhD University of California, San Francisco
Principal Investigator: Eli Puterman, PhD University of California, San Francisco
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD University of California, San Francisco
Principal Investigator: Jue Lin, PhD University of California, San Francisco
Study Director: Samantha Schilf, BA University of California, San Francisco
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Responsible Party: University of California, San Francisco
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01857830    
Other Study ID Numbers: 12-1039
First Posted: May 20, 2013    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 21, 2013
Last Verified: August 2013
Keywords provided by University of California, San Francisco:
Telomerase
Telomere Length
Psychological Stress
Amyloid beta proteins
Meditation