Friday Factoid: Combating Stress with Mindfulness

Stress is the most significant risk factor for expenditures in healthcare (Azagba & Sharaf, 2011). Mindfulness-based (MB) interventions, specifically Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) are one approach to efficiently dealing with stress (Shapiro, Astin, Bishop, & Cordova, 2005). Jon Kabat-Zinn developed MBSR at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979 with the goal of helping patients with chronic pain and illness cope more effectively with their distressing symptoms (Dobkin, Irving, & Amar, 2011). Since 1979, over 24,000 individuals have completed this formal training program. The program focuses on incorporating intensive mindfulness training into daily life and has demonstrated reproducible reductions in both psychological and medical symptoms across a wide range of conditions. In many instances, these changes remain for up to four years after treatment (University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2017). MBSR research, supporting benefits of its practice, has steadily accumulated over the past thirty-seven years (Malpass et al., 2011).

References

Azagba, S., & Sharaf, M. F. (2011). The effect of job stress on smoking and alcohol consumption. Health Economics Review, 1(1), 15. doi:10.1186/2191-1991-1-15

Dobkin, P. L., Irving, J. A., & Amar, S. (2011). For whom may participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program be contraindicated? Mindfulness, 3(1), 44-50. doi:10.1007/s12671-011-0079-9

Malpass, A., Carel, H., Ridd, M., Shaw, A., Kessler, D., Sharp, D., Wallond, J. (2012).Transforming the perceptual situation: A meta-ethnography of qualitative work reporting patients’ experiences of mindfulness-based approaches. 60–75. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-011-0081-2

Shapiro, S. L., Astin, J. A., Bishop, S. R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for health care professionals: Results from a randomized trial. International Journal of Stress Management12(2), 164-176. doi:10.1037/1072-5245.12.2.164

University of Massachusetts Medical School. (2017). History of MBSR. Retrieved from http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/mindfulness-based-programs/mbsr-courses/about-mbsr/history-of-mbsr/

Blake Palmer, MA, LPA
Doctoral Psychology Intern

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