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Teach Learn Med. 2003 Spring;15(2):88-92.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction lowers psychological distress in medical students.

Author information

  • 1Center for Integrative Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. steven.rosenzweig@mail.tju.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Medical students confront significant academic, psychosocial, and existential stressors throughout their training. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an educational intervention designed to improve coping skills and reduce emotional distress.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the MBSR intervention in a prospective, nonrandomized, cohort-controlled study.

METHODS:

Second-year students (n = 140) elected to participate in a 10-week MBSR seminar. Controls (n = 162) participated in a didactic seminar on complementary medicine. Profile of Mood States (POMS) was administered preintervention and postintervention.

RESULTS:

Baseline total mood disturbance (TMD) was greater in the MBSR group compared with controls (38.7 +/- 33.3 vs. 28.0 +/- 31.2; p < .01). Despite this initial difference, the MBSR group scored significantly lower in TMD at the completion of the intervention period (31.8 +/- 33.8 vs. 38.6 +/- 32.8; p < .05). Significant effects were also observed on Tension-Anxiety, Confusion-Bewilderment, Fatigue-Inertia, and Vigor-Activity subscales.

CONCLUSION:

MBSR may be an effective stress management intervention for medical students.

PMID:
12708065
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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