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Perm J. 2014 Winter;18(1):19-23. doi: 10.7812/TPP/13-102.

Effect of transcendental meditation on employee stress, depression, and burnout: a randomized controlled study.

Author information

1
Physician Lead for Integrative Medicine at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and an Affiliate Investigator at the Center for Health Research in Portland, OR. charles.elder@kpchr.org.
2
Professor of Physiology and Health, and Education at Maharishi University of Management and Senior Investigator at the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention in Fairfield, IA. snidich@mum.edu.
3
Clinical Director at Mountain Valley Treatment Center in Pike, NH, and the Founder of Metta, LTD in Arlington, VT. fmoriarty@mountainvalleytreatment.org.
4
Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. rnidich@mum.edu.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Workplace stress and burnout are pervasive problems, affecting employee performance and personal health.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on psychological distress and burnout among staff at a residential therapeutic school for students with severe behavioral problems.

DESIGN:

A total of 40 secondary schoolteachers and support staff at the Bennington School in Vermont, a therapeutic school for children with behavioral problems, were randomly assigned to either practice of the Transcendental Meditation program or a wait-list control group. The Transcendental Meditation course was provided by certified instructors.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Outcome measures were assessed at baseline and four months, and included perceived stress, depression, and burnout. A multivariate analysis of covariance was used to determine overall effects.

RESULTS:

Analysis of the 4-month intervention data indicated a significant improvement in the main outcomes of the study resulting from practice of the Transcendental Meditation program compared with controls (Wilks Λ [3,28] = 0.695; p = 0.019). Results of univariate F tests indicated a significant reduction of all main outcome measures: perceived stress (F[1,32] = 13.42; p = < 0.001); depression (F[1,32] = 6.92; p = 0.013); and overall teacher burnout (F[1,32] = 6.18; p = 0.018). Effect sizes ranged from 0.40 to 0.94.

CONCLUSIONS:

The Transcendental Meditation program was effective in reducing psychological distress in teachers and support staff working in a therapeutic school for students with behavioral problems. These findings have important implications for employees’ job performance as well as their mental and physical health.

PMID:
24626068
PMCID:
PMC3951026
DOI:
10.7812/TPP/13-102
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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