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Investigators conducted an 8-week study to examine the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) techniques on medical and premedical students using a controlled, statistical experimental design. The experimental group doing the meditation showed (1) a reduction in self-reported anxiety and (2) distress and depression, as well as (3) an increase score on measures of empathy and (4) an increase in spiritual experiences. The results were repeated when the experiment was conducted on a wait-listed control group. (Zach Rowinski 2005-03-04)

As part of a larger study of the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques on the health of women with breast cancer, this article looks in particular at the effectiveness of MBSR in stress related sleep complaints. Results showed that both women practicing MBSR and a Free Choice control group both showed significant improvement in a daily diary measure for sleep quality. Neither group showed improvement in sleep efficiency. The results suggest that MBSR shows promise for improving the quality of sleep for women with breast cancer who suffer from stress related sleeping problems. (Zach Rowinski 2005-03-04)

<p>Research has shown that mindfulness-based treatment interventions may be effective for a range of mental and physical health disorders in adult populations, but little is known about the effectiveness of such interventions for treating adolescent conditions. The present randomized clinical trial was designed to assess the effect of the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program for adolescents age 14 to 18 years with heterogeneous diagnoses in an outpatient psychiatric facility (intent-to-treat N 102). Relative to treatment-as-usual control participants, those receiving MBSR self-reported reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatic distress, and increased self-esteem and sleep quality. Of clinical significance, the MBSR group showed a higher percentage of diagnostic improvement over the 5-month study period and significant increases in global assessment of functioning scores relative to controls, as rated by condition-naı¨ve clinicians. These results were found in both completer and intent-to-treat samples. The findings provide evidence that MBSR may be a beneficial adjunct to outpatient mental health treatment for adolescents.</p>

PURPOSE:To review systematically clinical studies providing empirical data on stress-management programs in medical training. METHOD: The authors searched Medline and PSYCHINFO from 1966 to 1999. Studies were included if they evaluated stress-management programs for medical trainees (medical students, interns, or residents); reported empirical data; and had been conducted at allopathic medical schools. RESULTS: Although the search yielded over 600 articles discussing the importance of addressing the stress of medical education, only 24 studies reported intervention programs, and only six of those used rigorous scientific method. Results revealed that medical trainees participating in stress-management programs demonstrated (1) improved immunologic functioning, (2) decreases in depression and anxiety, (3) increased spirituality and empathy, (4) enhanced knowledge of alternative therapies for future referrals, (5) improved knowledge of the effects of stress, (6) greater use of positive coping skills, and (7) the ability to resolve role conflicts. Despite these promising results, the studies had many limitations. CONCLUSION: The following considerations should be incorporated into future research: (1) rigorous study design, including randomization and control (comparison) groups, (2) measurement of moderator variables to determine which intervention works best for whom, (3) specificity of outcome measures, and (4) follow-up assessment, including effectiveness of future patient care.