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Evaluation of a wellness-based mindfulness stress reduction intervention: a controlled trial.

15 Aug

Williams, Kolar, Reger and Pearson from the Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, ran clinical trials to see whether an 8-week, group-facilitated, Jon Kabat-Zinn-styled, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program could decrease daily stress and medical symptoms in 103 adults. (See our Practitioners We Love page for more about Jon K-Z.)

Fifty-nine subjects in the intervention group learned, practiced and applied mindfulness meditation to pesky daily situations, and practiced 20 minutes a day. The forty-four controls received educational materials and were encouraged to use community resources for stress management. After completing the 8-weeks, there was a 3-month follow-up.

Subjects were assessed with the Daily Stress Inventory, the Revised Hopkins Psychological Symptom Checklist and the Medical Symptom Checklist. At the end of the 8 weeks, there was also follow-up questionnaire to measure adherence.

The intervention group reported significant decreases in daily hassles (24%), psychological distress (44%), and in medical symptoms (46%). These changes were maintained at the 3-month follow up. The difference from the controls was significant (p =.05).

The study concludes that group mindfulness meditation training can enhance feelings of well-being and reduce physical symptoms and psychological distress in a heterogeneous adult population. More study is needed to determine the longevity of these therapeutic effects.

Citation: Williams KA, Kolar MM, Reger BE, Pearson JC. Evaluation of a Wellness-Based Mindfulness Stress Reduction intervention: a controlled trial. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2001, July-Aug; 15 (6): pp.422-432.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award