The Evaluation of a Mind/Body Intervention to Reduce Psychological Distress and Perceived Stress in College Students

Authors
Gloria R. Decko, MD, Keli M. Ballinger, MS, Michael Hoyt, MA, CHES, Marilyn Wilcher, Jefrey Dusek, PhD, Patricia Myers, Beth Greenberg, MA, David S. Rosenthal, MD, Herbert Benson, MD
Publication
Journal of American College Health
50(6):281-7
Abstract

The authors examined the effect of a 6-week mind/body intervention on college students’ psychological distress, anxiety, and perception of stress. One hundred twenty-eight students were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 63) or a waitlist control group (n = 65). The experimental group received 6 90-minute group-training sessions in the relaxation response and cognitive behavioral skills. The Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Perceived Stress Scale were used to assess the students’ psychological state before and after the intervention. Ninety students (70% of the initial sample) completed the post-assessment measure. Significantly greater reductions in psychological distress, state anxiety, and perceived stress were found in the experimental group. This brief mind/body training may be useful as a preventive intervention for college students, according to the authors, who called for further research to determine whether the observed treatment effect can be sustained over a longer period of time.

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