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Health Psychol. 2013 Oct;32(10):1110-3. doi: 10.1037/a0032200. Epub 2013 Mar 25.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction and physiological activity during acute stress: a randomized controlled trial.

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Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic disease (CoRPS), Department of Medical Psychology, Tilburg University.

Erratum in

  • Health Psychol. 2014 Sep;33(9):1045.



The aim was to examine the effects of a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention on cardiovascular and cortisol activity during acute stress.


Eighty-eight healthy community-dwelling individuals reporting elevated stress levels were randomly assigned to the MBSR protocol or a waitlist control group. Before and after the intervention period they participated in a laboratory stress protocol consisting of mental arithmetic and speech tasks. Laboratory measurements included continuous cardiovascular parameters (heart period, heart rate variability, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure [SBP and DBP]), and salivary cortisol.


Compared to the control group and controlling for age, sex, body mass index, and beta-blockers, the MBSR group showed larger pre- to postintervention decreases in overall SBP (F(1, 58) = 4.99, p = .029, partial η² = .08) and DBP (F(1, 58) = 11.09, p = .002, partial η² = .16). In addition, the MBSR group exhibited smaller SBP and DBP stress-related changes from pre- to postintervention (F(2, 116) = 4.89, p = .012, partial η² = .08; F(2, 116) = 6.07, p = .007, partial η² = .10, respectively). No effects were obtained on other physiological measures.


MBSR may help reducing blood pressure levels and blood pressure reactivity to stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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