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Effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention on Psychological Well-being and Quality of Life: Is Increased Mindfulness Indeed the Mechanism?

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      Although several studies have reported positive effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention on psychological well-being, it is not known whether these effects are attributable to a change in mindfulness.


      The aim of this study is to compare the effects of MBSR to a waiting-list control condition in a randomized controlled trial while examining potentially mediating effects of mindfulness.


      Forty women and 20 men from the community with symptoms of distress (mean age 43.6 years, SD = 10.1) were randomized into a group receiving MBSR or a waiting-list control group. Before and after the intervention period, questionnaires were completed on psychological well-being, quality of life, and mindfulness.


      Repeated measures multiple analysis of variance (MANCOVAs) showed that, compared with the control group, the intervention resulted in significantly stronger reductions of perceived stress ( p = 0.016) and vital exhaustion ( p = 0.001) and stronger elevations of positive affect ( p = 0.006), quality of life ( p = .009), as well as mindfulness ( p = 0.001). When mindfulness was included as a covariate in the MANCOVA, the group effects on perceived stress and quality of life were reduced to nonsignificance.


      Increased mindfulness may, at least partially, mediate the positive effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention.

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      Most cited references 51

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      In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
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            Author and article information

            CoRPS, Department of Psychology and Health, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
            +31-13-4662391 , +31-13-4662370 ,
            Ann Behav Med
            Annals of Behavioral Medicine
            Springer-Verlag (New York )
            6 June 2008
            June 2008
            : 35
            : 3
            : 331-340
            © The Author(s) 2008
            Original Article
            Custom metadata
            © The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2008


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