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Nurse Educ Today. 2013 Oct;33(10):1166-72. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.11.014. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

A randomized controlled trial of the effects of brief mindfulness meditation on anxiety symptoms and systolic blood pressure in Chinese nursing students.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Southern Medical University, 1838 North Guangzhou Avenue, Guangzhou, Guangdong province 510515, China; School of Nursing, Southern Medical University, 1838 North Guangzhou Avenue, Guangzhou, Guangdong province 510515, China. Electronic address: truelife2010@126.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies suggested that mindfulness meditation effectively reduced stress-related anxiety and depression symptoms, but no research has evaluated the efficacy of mindfulness meditation in nurses and nursing students in China.

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the effects of brief mindfulness meditation on the anxiety and depression symptoms and autonomic nervous system activity in Chinese nursing students.

DESIGN:

A randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

A medical university in Guangzhou, China.

PARTICIPANTS:

One hundred and five nursing students were randomly approached by email and seventy-two responded. Sixty recruited students were randomized into meditation and control group (n=30 each) after screening and exclusion due to factors known to influence mood ratings and autonomic nervous system measures.

METHODS:

The meditation group performed mindfulness meditation 30 min daily for 7 consecutive days. The control group received no intervention except pre-post treatment measurements. The Self-Rating Anxiety Scale and Self-Rating Depression Scale were administered to participants, and heart rate and blood pressure were measured. Pre- and post-treatment data were analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance.

RESULTS:

Differences between pre- and post-treatment Self-Rating Anxiety Scale scores were significantly larger in the meditation group than in the control group, but no similar effect was observed for Self-Rating Depression Scale scores. Systolic blood pressure was reduced more after the intervention in the meditation group than in the control group, with an average reduction of 2.2 mmHg. A moderate level of anxiety was associated with the maximum meditation effect.

CONCLUSIONS:

Brief mindfulness meditation was beneficial for Chinese nursing students in reducing anxiety symptoms and lowering systolic blood pressure. Individuals with moderate anxiety are most likely to benefit from a short-term mindfulness meditation program.

KEYWORDS:

Anxiety; Chinese nursing students; Intervention; Mental health; Mindfulness meditation

PMID:
23260618
DOI:
10.1016/j.nedt.2012.11.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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