Absence of conflict of interest.
The study's objective was to examine the impact of a high-dosage United Mindfulness System on health and safety.
This study was a randomized controlled trial. Perceived stress was measured using the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). In addition, participants completed multiple brief assessments measuring stress, coping, and affect. The authors used a statistical model to compare the outcomes of participants in the low-dosage and high-dosage intervention groups.
The study found that participants in a high-dosage mindfulness intervention had significantly lower rates of overall and momentary perceived stress overall than participants in a low-dosage mindfulness intervention. In addition, those in the high-dosage group had lower stress severity ratings, a lower proportion of time stressed, and did not experience the increase in negative affect and decrease in positive affect that the low-dosage group experienced.
This study receives a high evidence rating. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to high-dosage United Mindfulness System, and not to other factors.
High-dosage United Mindfulness System
Features of the Intervention
Mindfulness trainings have become more popular in workplace settings over the past decade to support workers' overall well-being. Mindfulness practices aim to help individuals bring awareness to their surroundings and state of being and promote a more positive mindset.
In this study, the low-dosage version of the intervention included a single, four-hour in-person workshop consisting of information about mindfulness concepts and practice using mindfulness techniques. The high-dosage intervention included the same workshop, six weeks of access to a didactic video series, as well as daily audio practice sessions and weekly group conference calls. All intervention content was based on the United Mindfulness System (Young, 2016).
Features of the Study
This study was a randomized controlled trial that examined the outcomes for employees participating in either a low- or high-dosage version of a workplace mindfulness intervention. Study participants were sixty employees who were recruited from a single Ohio-based digital marketing firm. Participants were between the ages of 21-57, and the sample was predominantly female (67%) and white (95%). Before eligible participants were assigned to the different conditions, they were asked to assess their perceived stress and to measure their stress, coping, and affect over the course of three days, after which they participated in a four-hour mindfulness workshop. Following the workshop, half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive an additional mindfulness intervention for a six-week period. The additional intervention consisted of six weeks of access to an online didactic video series further describing the United Mindfulness System. This group was also asked to complete daily home practice sessions and participate in weekly group conference calls. Participants in the higher dosage condition could optionally receive a 15-minute phone meeting with the mindfulness instructor. In total, 29 participants were assigned to the low-dosage mindfulness intervention, and 31 were assigned to the high-dosage mindfulness intervention. After the six-week intervention period concluded, participants completed three days of ecological momentary assessments and a questionnaire battery. The two intervention groups were then compared to one another.
This study measured participants’ perceived stress, coping, and affect. Perceived stress was measured using the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). In addition, participants completed brief assessments measuring stress, coping, and affect. The brief assessments were collected four times daily for three days before and after the intervention period. These assessments measured momentary stress, stress since the previous assessment, stressor severity, stress time, successful coping, and positive and negative affect. The authors used a statistical model to compare the outcomes of participants in the low-dosage and high-dosage intervention groups.
Health and safety
There was no difference between the number of stressors reported by those in the low and high-dosage mindfulness groups.
Participants in the high-dosage mindfulness group reported a greater decrease in perceived stress, momentary stress, and proportion of time stressed than those in the low-dosage group.
Participants in the high-dosage mindfulness group experienced reduced stressor severity, as compared to those in the low-dosage group.
Participants in the high-dosage mindfulness group were buffered against a decrease in coping success, as compared to those in the low-dosage group.
Participants in the high-dosage mindfulness group were buffered against decreases in positive affect and increases in negative affect, as compared to the low-dosage group.
Considerations for Interpreting the Findings
The authors caution that this study had a relatively small sample size. They further note that the study lacked a no-treatment, assessment-only control group. For that reason, readers should interpret the estimated impacts for the high-dosage intervention as compared to the low-dosage intervention rather than a comparison to no treatment.
Causal Evidence Rating
This study receives a high evidence rating. This means we are confident that the estimated effects are attributable to the high-dosage United Mindfulness System, and not to other factors.