Research: CUTSHALL and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 210

Abstract

CUTSHALL and COLLEAGUES, Department of Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA studied whether a self-directed, computer-guided meditation training program is useful for stress reduction in hospital nurses.

Background

To assess whether a self-directed, computer-guided meditation training program is useful for stress reduction in hospital nurses.

Methodology

The authors prospectively evaluated participants before and after a month-long meditation program. The meditation program consisted of 15 computer sessions that used biofeedback to reinforce training. Participants were instructed to practise the intervention for 30 minutes per session, four times a week, for four weeks. Visual analogue scales were used to measure stress, anxiety, and quality of life (assessments were performed using Linear Analogue Self-Assessment [LASA], State Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI], and Short-Form 36 [SF-36] questionnaires). Differences in scores from baseline to the study's end were compared using the paired t test.

Results

Eleven registered nurses not previously engaged in meditation were enrolled; eight completed the study. Intent-to-treat analysis showed significant improvement in stress management, as measured by SF-36 vitality subscale (P = .04), STAI (P = .03), LASA stress (P = .01), and LASA anxiety (P = .01). Nurses were highly satisfied with the meditation program, rating it 8.6 out of 10.

Conclusion

The results of this pilot study suggest the feasibility and efficacy of a biofeedback-assisted, self-directed, meditation training program to help hospital nurses reduce their stress and anxiety. Optimal frequency of use of the program, as well as the duration of effects, should be addressed in future studies.

References

Cutshall SM, Wentworth LJ, Wahner-Roedler DL, Vincent A, Schmidt JE, Loehrer LL, Cha SS and Bauer BA. Evaluation of a biofeedback-assisted meditation program as a stress management tool for hospital nurses: a pilot study.  Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing. 7(2):110-2. Mar-Apr 2011.

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