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J Am Coll Health. 2019 Apr 2:1-7. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2019.1590371. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of guided mindfulness meditation on anxiety and stress in a pre-healthcare college student population: a pilot study.

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a Exercise Science and Sport Studies, College of St. Benedict and St. John's University , St. Joseph , MN , USA.



To identify the effects of guided mindfulness meditation on anxiety and stress in pre-healthcare college students.


Students (n = 33, age 19-22 years) were tested between September and November of 2017.


Students completed 5-12 minutes of meditation 6 days/week for 8 weeks. We examined differences in pre- and post-intervention stress, anxiety, mindfulness, and heart rate variability.


All variables significantly improved after the intervention. When broken into quartiles based on minutes of meditation, groups 1 (0-184 min, p = 0.044) and 2 (184.1-268 min, p = 0.042) significantly increased mindfulness after the intervention. Group 3 (268-350 min) significantly decreased state anxiety (p = 0.015) and increased mindfulness (p = 0.029). Group 4 (350.24-424.05 min) decreased stress (p = 0.003), state anxiety (p = 0.007), trait anxiety (p = 0.003), and increased mindfulness (p = 0.007).


Five to twelve minutes of daily mindfulness meditation is associated with decreased stress and anxiety, and increased mindfulness with greater changes observed following more minutes of meditation.


Mindfulness meditation; anxiety; heart rate variability; pre-healthcare; stress

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