Does Mindfulness Decrease Stress and Foster Empathy among Nursing Students?

San Jose State University School of Nursing, San Jose, California 95192-0057, USA.
Journal of Nursing Education (Impact Factor: 0.91). 07/2004; 43(7):305-12.
Source: PubMed


This pilot study of baccalaureate nursing students explored the effects of an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course on stress and empathy. The course was intended to provide students with tools to cope with personal and professional stress and to foster empathy through intrapersonal knowing. A convenience sample of 16 students participated in the course, used guided meditation audiotapes at home, and completed journal assignments. Stress and empathy were measured using paired sample t tests. Participation in the intervention significantly reduced students' anxiety (p > .05). Favorable trends were observed in a number of stress dimensions including attitude, time pressure, and total stress. Two dimensions of empathy--personal distress and fantasy--also demonstrated favorable downward trends. Regular home meditation was correlated with additional benefit. Participants reported using meditation in daily life and experiencing greater well-being and improved coping skills as a result of the program. Findings suggest that being mindful may also decrease tendencies to take on others' negative emotions. Coping with stress and fostering the affective domain are important facets of nursing education that may be facilitated by mindfulness training.

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    • "Both studies suggest that mindfulness be used as a preventative college health intervention. Additional studies have been done with nursing students (Mackenzie et al. 2006; Beddoe and Murphy 2004; Kang et al. 2009) and with therapists in training (Shapiro et al. 2007), finding decreases in anxiety, stress, negative affect, and burnout, and increases in empathy, well-being, and self-compassion. A recent 8-week program called mindfulness-based coping with university life (MBCUL) has been developed at the University of Northampton, UK, that is specifically tailored to university students, and a preliminary non-randomized study found significant changes in perceived stress, anxiety, and depression in student participants (Lynch et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effects of a 6-week adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention on the psychological health and well-being of college students. The experimental group participants were students and faculty (N = 19) who signed up for the mindfulness-based class, and the control group participants (N = 25) were interested in the class but were unable to sign up in time to enroll. Participants were surveyed three times on a range of self-report psychological variables including symptoms of psychological distress, emotional awareness, self-control, day-to-day mindfulness, and subjective vitality. A control group took the same surveys but did not receive any treatment. The adapted-MBSR intervention significantly reduced psychological distress in the experimental group participants as compared to the control group (p = .027, η 2 = .161) and significantly increased self reported mindful awareness (p = .028, η 2 = .160), self-control (p = .007, η 2 = .216), and subjective vitality (p = .001, η 2 = .293), while meta-mood was not affected (p = .314, η 2 = .055). We concluded that MBSR has wide-ranging positive effects on college students, and would be beneficial as a campus stress reduction and preventative mental health intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Mindfulness
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    • "Universities employ a large variety of skills training programmes for academic stress reduction. These programmes include various stress management tachniques, such as cognitive restructuring, problem solving or time management skills training (Jones, Johnston 2000; Beddoe, Murphy, 2004), improvement of relaxation skills using progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) or biofeedback-assisted relaxation (BAR) (Rasid, Parish, 1998; Ratanasiripong, Sverduk, Prince, Hayashino, 2012), etc. PMR as well as BAR are used to improve relaxation skills enabling a student to lower stress response. "
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    ABSTRACT: Students make a rather specific population, which has to overcome many obstacles in order to pursue their academic goals (Pierceall, Keim 2007). Special programmes for stress prevention, based on relaxation training are being established in universities. The effectiveness of these programmes is constantly assessed and ways of their improvement are being studied (Jones, Johnston 2000, Beddoe, Murphy, 2004). One of the directions for such studies is the studying the effectiveness of relaxation training in relation to personality characteristics. However, there is lack of studies analysing the impact of personality features on individual's ability to relax and ability to learn to relax. Both biofeedback-assisted and progressive muscle relaxation are regarded as interventions aimed at lowering stress response. These methods help to train relaxation skills as well. The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of biofeedback-assisted relaxation as well as progressive muscle relaxation in lowering psychophysiological parameters with regard to personality features.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences
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    • "One such procedure may be meditation training. There is accumulating evidence that meditation practice is effective in cultivating empathy, which contains a perspective-taking component (Beddoe and Murphy 2004; Shapiro et al. 1998). In both Beddoe and Murphy (2004) and Shapiro et al. (1998), students undergoing medical training went through a short-term mindfulness-based stress reduction program that focuses on cultivating awareness of one's physical and psychological states as well as compassion towards others. "
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    ABSTRACT: Past research has examined the relationship between religious beliefs and intergroup bias but has not investigated the relationship between specific religious practices and bias. The current work fills this gap by investigating differences in racial prejudice between individuals engaged in an active compassion-based meditation practice and those who have no experience with meditation. We found that a group of experienced compassion-based meditators (from a range of religious traditions) expressed less racial prejudice and more empathy compared to a group of participants who had no experience with meditation, and that differences in prejudice were mediated by empathy. These results suggest that compassion-based meditators express lower levels of explicit, racial prejudice than non-meditators and that these differences are explained by differences in empathy. The implications of our results as well as future directions for research are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Mindfulness
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