Effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction in a community sample over 2 years

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although numerous studies have demonstrated that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) improves clinical and nonclinical outcomes, few studies have followed MBSR participants for >12 months, and few have analyzed post-intervention home practice.

METHODS

We followed a community sample of 247 self-referred adults for 2 years after completion of an 8-week MBSR program. Dependent variables, including self-reported anxiety, depression, perceived wellness, mindfulness, and duration and frequency of continued home practice, were measured before and after the program and every 6 months after.

RESULTS

Participants reported significantly improved symptoms of depression and anxiety, increased perceived wellness, and increased mindfulness after the 8-week intervention compared with pre-intervention reports. These improvements persisted for 2 years. Correlations between post-intervention home practice and mindfulness indicated that individuals who continued to practice developed greater mindfulness, which was associated with improved mental health and wellness.

CONCLUSIONS

Participants who completed the MBSR program reported significant improvements in anxiety, depression, perceived wellness, and mindfulness during the program.

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