The use of meditation--relaxation techniques for the management of stress in a working population

Authors
P Carrington, G H Collings, Jr, H Benson, H Robinson, L W Wood, P M Lehrer, R L Woolfolk, J W Cole
Publication
J Occup Med
22(4):221-31
Abstract

The efficacy of meditation-relaxation techniques has been widely researched in the laboratory, but their effectiveness for management of stress in organizational settings is still relatively unexplored. The present study compared relaxation and control conditions as part of a program of stress-reduction in industry. A total of 154 New York Telephone employees self-selected for stress learned one of three techniques–clinically standardized meditation (CSM), respiratory one method meditation (ROM) or progressive relaxation (PMR)–or served as waiting list controls. At 5.5 months, the treatment groups showed clinical improvement in self-reported symptoms of stress, but only the meditation groups (not the PMR group) showed significantly more symptom reduction than the controls. The meditation groups had a 78% compliance rate at 5.5 months with treatment effect seen whether subjects practiced their techniques frequently or occasionally. The safe and inexpensive semi-automated meditation training has considerable value for stress-management programs in organizational settings.

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