MMFT emphasizes internal body awareness, attentional control (focus), and tolerance of present-moment experiences. The main outcome measures were heart rate, breathing rate, plasma neuropeptide Y concentration, score on the Response to Stressful Experiences Scale, and brain activation as measured by functional MRI.
Marines who received MMFT showed greater heart rate reactivity (heart rate [d=0.43]) and enhanced recovery (heart rate [d=0.67], breathing rate [d=0.93]) after stressful training; lower plasma neuropeptide Y concentration after stressful training (d=0.38); and attenuated blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal in the right insula and anterior cingulate.
The investigators conclude that mechanisms related to stress recovery can be modified in healthy individuals prior to stress exposure, with important implications for evidence-based mental health research and treatment.
Citation: Johnson DC, Thom NJ, Stanley EA, Haase L, Simmons AN, Shih PA, Thompson WK, Potterat EG, Minor TR, Paulus MP. Modifying resilience mechanisms in at-risk individuals: a controlled study of mindfulness training in Marines preparing for deployment. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2014 Aug; 171 (8): pages 844-53. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13040502.
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