Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Medical and Premedical Students

Abstract

The inability to cope successfully with the enormous stress of medical education may lead to a cascade of consequences at both a personal and professional level. The present study examined the short-term effects of an 8-week meditation-based stress reduction intervention on premedical and medical students using a well-controlled statistical design. Findings indicate that participation in the intervention can effectively (1) reduce self-reported state and trait anxiety, (2) reduce reports of overall psychological distress including depression, (3) increase scores on overall empathy levels, and (4) increase scores on a measure of spiritual experiences assessed at termination of intervention. These results (5) replicated in the wait-list control group, (6) held across different experiments, and (7) were observed during the exam period. Future research should address potential long-term effects of mindfulness training for medical and premedical students.

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Shapiro, S.L., Schwartz, G.E. & Bonner, G. Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Medical and Premedical Students. J Behav Med 21, 581–599 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018700829825

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  • MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
  • MEDICAL EDUCATION
  • STRESS-MANAGEMENT
  • ANXIETY
  • DEPRESSION
  • EMPATHY
  • SPIRITUALITY