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Work stress, burnout, and diminished empathy are prevalent issues for health‐care professionals. Mindfulness meditation (MM) is one commonly used strategy to manage stress. Measuring salivary cortisol allows for the assessment of serum cortisol level, a known stress level indicator. This study evaluated the association of subject‐reported stress symptoms and salivary cortisol in health‐care professionals, in an 8‐week MM program, with data collected prospectively at baseline and 8 weeks after program completion. Questionnaires [Profile of Mood States—Short Form (POMS‐SF), Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)] measured mood, burnout and empathy.A paired t‐test between groups for pre/post‐salivary cortisol yielded no significant change. The POMS‐SF was most sensitive to change (mean increase 12.4; p = 0.020). Emotional exhaustion, measured in the MBI, was also affected by MM (mean decrease 4.54; p = 0.001). Changes in empathy may not have been captured due to either absence of effect of MM on empathy, subject number or scale sensitivity. Baseline and 8‐week correlations between salivary cortisol and survey results, and correlations between changes in these measures, were weak and not statistically significant. Nevertheless, psychometric results present a strong case for additional clinical trials of MM to reduce stress for health‐care professionals.

Highly stressed employees are subject to greater health risks, increased cost, and productivity losses than those with normal stress levels. To address this issue in an evidence-based manner, worksite stress management programs must be able to engage individuals as well as capture data on stress, health indices, work productivity, and health care costs. In this randomized controlled pilot, our primary objective was to evaluate the viability and proof of concept for two mind-body workplace stress reduction programs (one therapeutic yoga-based and the other mindfulness-based), in order to set the stage for larger cost-effectiveness trials. A second objective was to evaluate 2 delivery venues of the mindfulness-based intervention (online vs. in-person). Intention-to-treat principles and 2 (pre and post) × 3 (group) repeated-measures analysis of covariance procedures examined group differences over time on perceived stress and secondary measures to clarify which variables to include in future studies: sleep quality, mood, pain levels, work productivity, mindfulness, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate variability (a measure of autonomic balance). Two hundred and thirty-nine employee volunteers were randomized into a therapeutic yoga worksite stress reduction program, 1 of 2 mindfulness-based programs, or a control group that participated only in assessment. Compared with the control group, the mind-body interventions showed significantly greater improvements on perceived stress, sleep quality, and the heart rhythm coherence ratio of heart rate variability. The two delivery venues for the mindfulness program produced basically equivalent results. Both the mindfulness-based and therapeutic yoga programs may provide viable and effective interventions to target high stress levels, sleep quality, and autonomic balance in employees.

Highly stressed employees are subject to greater health risks, increased cost, and productivity losses than those with normal stress levels. To address this issue in an evidence-based manner, worksite stress management programs must be able to engage individuals as well as capture data on stress, health indices, work productivity, and health care costs. In this randomized controlled pilot, our primary objective was to evaluate the viability and proof of concept for two mind-body workplace stress reduction programs (one therapeutic yoga-based and the other mindfulnessbased), in order to set the stage for larger cost-effectiveness trials. A second objective was to evaluate 2 delivery venues of the mindfulness-based intervention (online vs. in-person). Intention-to-treat principles and 2 (pre and post) × 3 (group) repeated-measures analysis of covariance procedures examined group differences over time on perceived stress and secondary measures to clarify which variables to include in future studies: sleep quality, mood, pain levels, work productivity, mindfulness, blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate variability (a measure of autonomic balance). Two hundred and thirty-nine employee volunteers were randomized into a therapeutic yoga worksite stress reduction program, 1 of 2 mindfulness-based programs, or a control group that participated only in assessment. Compared with the control group, the mind-body interventions showed significantly greater improvements on perceived stress, sleep quality, and the heart rhythm coherence ratio of heart rate variability. The two delivery venues for the mindfulness program produced basically equivalent results. Both the mindfulness-based and therapeutic yoga programs may provide viable and effective interventions to target high stress levels, sleep quality, and autonomic balance in employees. © 2012 American Psychological Association.

ObjectivesMindfulness‐based stress reduction (MBSR) promotes numerous psychological benefits, but few studies have identified for whom MBSR is most effective. The current study tested the hypothesis that lower baseline mindfulness invites more “room to grow” and, thus, predicts greater improvement during MBSR. Method We examined three facets of mindfulness (awareness, acceptance, decentering) among 131 MBSR participants prior to enrollment, to test the hypothesis that lower baseline mindfulness predicts greater improvements in perceived stress, positive affect (PA), and negative affect (NA) following MBSR. Results Lower acceptance and decentering predicted greater decreases in perceived stress. Higher awareness, acceptance, and decentering predicted greater increases in PA. Higher awareness predicted greater reductions in NA. Lower decentering predicted greater reductions in NA. Conclusion Findings partly supported the hypothesis that lower baseline mindfulness predicts greater improvement following MBSR and emphasize the importance of assessing multiple mindfulness facets given their unique, contrasting relations to outcomes.

Psychological distress is common in patients with diabetes. Little is known about the impact of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a non-traditional, cognitive behavioural intervention designed to improve stress management skills, in patients with diabetes. The purpose of this retrospective analysis was to evaluate the impact of MBSR training on mood states in 25 individuals with diabetes. All participants completed the Profile of Mood States Short Form (POMS-SF) at baseline and following eight weeks of MBSR. Overall psychological distress measured by the total mood score (TMS) and six subscales - including tension/anxiety, depression/dejection, anger/hostility, fatigue/inertia, confusion/bewilderment and vigour/activity - were assessed. Overall mood, measured by the TMS, as well as all subscale mood measurements improved significantly from baseline following MBSR training. Compared to population means, those with diabetes had higher distress at baseline and similar levels of distress following MBSR training. The primary reason participants reported for enrolling in the MBSR course was to improve stress management skills. It was concluded that MBSR training is a promising, group-based intervention that can be used to decrease psychological distress in individuals with diabetes who perceive a need for training in stress management.

Objectives: Mindfulness training may help seniors successfully manage the physical and psychological challenges of aging in a manner that reduces distress and promotes vitality. The purpose of this retrospective analysis is to evaluate the impact of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) training on mood states in older adults. Methods: The authors identified 141 older adults (>60 years) who completed MBSR training. All participants completed the Profile of Mood States-Short Form (POMS-SF) at baseline and following 8 weeks of MBSR. Using paired t tests, the authors evaluated changes in mood following training in MBSR. In a subset analysis, the authors further examined the impact of MBSR training in individuals with the highest scores on depression and anxiety. Primary reasons cited for MBSR enrollment are also reported. Results: Overall emotional distress and all sub-scale mood measurements improved significantly following MBSR training. MBSR training resulted in >50% reduction in the number of older people reporting clinically significant depression and anxiety. Most enrolled in MBSR training to improve stress management skills. Discussion: MBSR training is a promising, group-based intervention for decreasing psychological distress in older adults. Larger randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm study findings.

Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in the present moment. We investigate the hypothesis that mindfulness training may alter or enhance specific aspects of attention. We examined three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct but overlapping attentional subsystems: alerting, orienting, and conflict monitoring. Functioning of each subsystem was indexed by performance on the Attention Network Test (ANT; Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, & Posner, 2002). Two types of mindfulness training (MT) programs were examined, and behavioral testing was conducted on participants before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) training. One training group consisted of individuals naive to mindfulness techniques who participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course that emphasized the development of concentrative meditation skills. The other training group consisted of individuals experienced in concentrative meditation techniques who participated in a 1-month intensive mindfulness retreat. Performance of these groups was compared with that of control participants who were meditation naive and received no MT. At Time 1, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated improved conflict monitoring performance relative to those in the MBSR and control groups. At Time 2, the participants in the MBSR course demonstrated significantly improved orienting in comparison with the control and retreat participants. In contrast, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated altered performance on the alerting component, with improvements in exogenous stimulus detection in comparison with the control and MBSR participants. The groups did not differ in conflict monitoring performance at Time 2. These results suggest that mindfulness training may improve attention-related behavioral responses by enhancing functioning of specific subcomponents of attention. Whereas participation in the MBSR course improved the ability to endogenously orient attention, retreat participation appeared to allow for the development and emergence of receptive attentional skills, which improved exogenous alerting-related process.

Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in the present moment. We investigate the hypothesis that mindfulness training may alter or enhance specific aspects of attention. We examined three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct but overlapping attentional subsystems: alerting, orienting, and conflict monitoring. Functioning of each subsystem was indexed by performance on the Attention Network Test. Two types of mindfulness training (MT) programs were examined, and behavioral testing was conducted on participants before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) training. One training group consisted of individuals naive to mindfulness techniques who participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course that emphasized the development of concentrative meditation skills. The other training group consisted of individuals experienced in concentrative meditation techniques who participated in a 1-month intensive mindfulness retreat. Performance of these groups was compared with that of control participants who were meditation naive and received no MT. At Time 1, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated improved conflict monitoring performance relative to those in the MBSR and control groups. At Time 2, the participants in the MBSR course demonstrated significantly improved orienting in comparison with the control and retreat participants. In contrast, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated altered performance on the alerting component, with improvements in exogenous stimulus detection in comparison with the control and MBSR participants. The groups did not differ in conflict monitoring performance at Time 2. These results suggest that mindfulness training may improve attention-related behavioral responses by enhancing functioning of specific subcomponents of attention. Whereas participation in the MBSR course improved the ability to endogenously orient attention, retreat participation appeared to allow for the development and emergence of receptive attentional skills, which improved exogenous alerting-related process.
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Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in the present moment. We investigate the hypothesis that mindfulness training may alter or enhance specific aspects of attention. We examined three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct but overlapping attentional subsystems: alerting, orienting, and conflict monitoring. Functioning of each subsystem was indexed by performance on the Attention Network Test (ANT; Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, & Posner, 2002). Two types of mindfulness training (MT) programs were examined, and behavioral testing was conducted on participants before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) training. One training group consisted of individuals naive to mindfulness techniques who participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course that emphasized the development of concentrative meditation skills. The other training group consisted of individuals experienced in concentrative meditation techniques who participated in a 1-month intensive mindfulness retreat. Performance of these groups was compared with that of control participants who were meditation naive and received no MT. At Time 1, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated improved conflict monitoring performance relative to those in the MBSR and control groups. At Time 2, the participants in the MBSR course demonstrated significantly improved orienting in comparison with the control and retreat participants. In contrast, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated altered performance on the alerting component, with improvements in exogenous stimulus detection in comparison with the control and MBSR participants. The groups did not differ in conflict monitoring performance at Time 2. These results suggest that mindfulness training may improve attention-related behavioral responses by enhancing functioning of specific subcomponents of attention. Whereas participation in the MBSR course improved the ability to endogenously orient attention, retreat participation appeared to allow for the development and emergence of receptive attentional skills, which improved exogenous alerting-related process.

Mindfulness is defined as paying attention in the present moment. We investigate the hypothesis that mindfulness training may alter or enhance specific aspects of attention. We examined three functionally and neuroanatomically distinct but overlapping attentional subsystems: alerting, orienting, and conflict monitoring. Functioning of each subsystem was indexed by performance on the Attention Network Test (ANT; Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, & Posner, 2002). Two types of mindfulness training (MT) programs were examined, and behavioral testing was conducted on participants before (Time 1) and after (Time 2) training. One training group consisted of individuals naive to mindfulness techniques who participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course that emphasized the development of concentrative meditation skills. The other training group consisted of individuals experienced in concentrative meditation techniques who participated in a 1-month intensive mindfulness retreat. Performance of these groups was compared with that of control participants who were meditation naive and received no MT. At Time 1, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated improved conflict monitoring performance relative to those in the MBSR and control groups. At Time 2, the participants in the MBSR course demonstrated significantly improved orienting in comparison with the control and retreat participants. In contrast, the participants in the retreat group demonstrated altered performance on the alerting component, with improvements in exogenous stimulus detection in comparison with the control and MBSR participants. The groups did not differ in conflict monitoring performance at Time 2. These results suggest that mindfulness training may improve attention-related behavioral responses by enhancing functioning of specific subcomponents of attention. Whereas participation in the MBSR course improved the ability to endogenously orient attention, retreat participation appeared to allow for the development and emergence of receptive attentional skills, which improved exogenous alerting-related process.