Single Mindfulness + Compassion Session Aids Mental Health

Small delayed benefit seen for loneliness, but larger improvements seen in perceived stress
Single Mindfulness + Compassion Session Aids Mental Health
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

FRIDAY, March 15, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- A single-session mindfulness and compassion intervention may lead to meaningful reductions in perceived stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to a study published online March 13 in PLOS ONE.

Mikael Rubin, Ph.D., from University of Texas at Austin, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of a newly developed, manualized, mindfulness-based single-session intervention on self-reported loneliness. Analysis included 91 adults randomly assigned to a one-hour mindfulness-only telehealth intervention, a one-hour mindfulness and compassion telehealth intervention, or a one-week waitlist control (before random assignment to an active intervention).

The researchers found that compared to the control, the inclusion of a compassion component led to meaningful reductions in perceived stress (b = −3.75), anxiety (b = −3.79), and depression (b = −3.01). No benefit was seen for loneliness at the one-week follow-up, but by the two-week follow-up, there was a moderate decrease in loneliness across both conditions.

"This was the first single session mindfulness intervention intended to specifically target symptoms of loneliness," the authors write. "Given the degree to which the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increases in loneliness and stress, it was important to consider ways to address this concern in a relatively accessible and brief way."

Abstract/Full Text

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