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J Med Assoc Thai. 2012 Mar;95(3):461-9.

Breathing meditation by medical students at Khon Kaen University: effect on psychiatric symptoms, memory, intelligence and academic achievement.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.



To examine the short-term effects on fifth-year medical students of a 4-week, breathing meditation-based, stress reduction intervention on psychiatric symptoms, memory function, intelligence, and academic achievement.


Using a randomized control trial, the meditation group practiced every 8.00 to 8.20 a.m. before beginning daily learning schedule. Meditation emphasized mindful awareness of the breath during inhaling and exhaling. The control group went about their normal activities in the other room. The psychiatric symptoms were measured using the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90), the memory used the Wechsler Memory Scale-I (WMS-I), the intelligence used the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM), and the academic achievement used psychiatry course MCQ examination score. Analysis was done using Ancova statistic.


Fifty-eight volunteer medical students during their psychiatry rotation between June 2008 and May 2009, were randomized into either in the meditation (n = 30) or the control (non-meditation) (n = 28) group. There was no significant difference between the groups in their respective SCL-90, WMS-I, APM, and psychiatry course MCQ examination score.


Among normal, intelligent, mentally healthy persons, short-term breathing meditation practice will not likely change psychiatric symptoms, memory function, intellectual performance, and academic achievement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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