A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial for a Videoconference-Delivered Mindfulness-Based Group Intervention in a Nonclinical Setting
Technology is increasingly being integrated into the provision of therapy and mental health interventions. While the evidence base for technology-led delivery of mindfulness-based interventions is growing, one approach to understand the effects of technology-delivered elements includes programs that retain some aspects of traditional face-to-face interaction. This arrangement offers unique practical advantages, and also enables researchers to isolate variables that may be underlying the effects of technology-delivered interventions. The present study reports on a pilot videoconference-delivered mindfulness-based group intervention offered to university students and staff members with wait-list controls. Apart from the first session of the 6-week course, the main facilitator guided evening classes remotely via online videoconferencing, with follow-up exercises via email. Participants were taught a variety of mindfulness-based exercises such as meditation, breathing exercises, and mindful tasting, as well as the concepts underpinning such practice. Participants completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires on depression, anxiety, repetitive negative thinking, dysfunctional attitudes, positive and negative affect, self-compassion, compassion for others, and mindfulness. For participants who attended at least five of the six sessions, scores on all outcome measures improved significantly post-intervention and remained stable at 3-week follow-up. The videoconference-delivered mindfulness-based group intervention appears to provide a viable alternative format to standard mindfulness programs where the facilitator and participants need to live in close physical proximity with each other.
KeywordsMindfulness-based intervention Group intervention Videoconference Pilot study Nonclinical University
RS led the funding application for this project. AS, CK, GW, RS, and WW planned and designed the study. The mindfulness intervention was delivered by GR, with assistance of RC, TT, JR, and CK. TT coordinated recruitment and data collection. DA, JR, and OM assisted in the coordination of the study. Data were analyzed by OM, TT, CK, and NP. The majority of the write up was completed by CK, with help by OM and NP. All authors contributed to the manuscript and approved the final version.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional ethics committee of Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of Interest
GR provides mindfulness-based interventions in educational settings as part of a business. These interventions currently do not follow the videoconference-delivered approach reported here, but may in the future.
Funding and disclosure
The research has been funded by Strategic Research Investment Fund of Auckland University of Technology – New Zealand. The funding source had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data or submission.
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