Are we here yet? Pilot study of a self-directed web-based mindfulness intervention as an adjunct to an undergraduate academic course

Teeft, Tricia A. (2017) Are we here yet? Pilot study of a self-directed web-based mindfulness intervention as an adjunct to an undergraduate academic course. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Mindfulness-based interventions have become increasingly popular in Western culture. A broad and expanding base of literature has supported the efficacy of mindfulness practice with numerous psychological and physical health conditions. Research has begun to focus on cost-effective and convenient ways to introduce these skills to undergraduate students, who often experience elevated rates of psychological difficulties. The current research was a pilot study investigating the effect of a 12-week self-directed web-based mindfulness intervention on undergraduate students enrolled in a course on metacognition. Pre-intervention measures were completed to evaluate self-reported levels of mindfulness and psychological wellness. Students in the intervention group completed mindfulness activities (meditation, body scan, yoga, or unstructured mindfulness activities), while students in the control group engaged in the course material without additional mindfulness content. After each activity, intervention participants submitted a reflection online which detailed the activity, number of minutes spent practicing, and thoughts, feelings, or sensations which arose. Post-intervention, the same tests were re-administered in addition to questionnaires evaluating engagement. Participants in the intervention condition reported decreased state and trait anxiety levels at post-test, while the control group reported no change in state and anxiety and an increase in trait anxiety. When the intervention group was examined along with frequency of practice (total number of sessions), there was a significant decrease in trait anxiety, obsessive compulsive subscale scores (SCL-90) and an increase in total mindfulness (FFMQ). In contrast, total number of minutes of mindfulness practice contributed to decreased Depression and Hostility subscale scores (SCL-90). Despite difficulties with enrollment, engagement, and attrition (reflecting general barriers in mindfulness research and practice), the current pilot contributes recommendations for ways to effectively tailor interventions to a specific population and methods to increase engagement. Doing so may allow more people to gain individually-relevant benefits from mindfulness practice while decreasing the perceived barriers.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 12915
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 114-123).
Keywords: mindfulness, web-based, undergraduate
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: October 2017
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Students -- Mental health services; Students -- Psychological aspects; Mindfulness (Psychology)

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