Resilience Training: A Pilot Study of a Mindfulness-Based Program with Depressed Healthcare Professionals

Jill R Johnson, Henry C Emmons, Rachael L Rivard, Kristen H Griffin, Jeffery A Dusek
Explore: the Journal of Science and Healing 2015, 11 (6): 433-44

CONTEXT: Mindfulness-based programs have been primarily used to target anxiety or the prevention of relapse in recurrent depression; however, limited research has been conducted on the use of mindfulness programs for relief of current depressive symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the potential effect of resilience training (RT) on symptom relief for current or recurrent depression, and other psychological/behavioral outcomes.

DESIGN: Wait-list comparison pilot study.

SETTING: Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Allina Health, Minneapolis, MN.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 40 actively working healthcare professionals age 18-65 years.

INTERVENTION: RT is an eight-week mindfulness-based program that synergizes elements of mindfulness meditation with nutrition and exercise. The first 20 consecutive individuals meeting all eligibility criteria were assigned to the RT group. The next 20 consecutive eligible individuals were placed into the wait-list control group and had an eight-week waiting period before starting the RT program.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Psychological/behavioral outcomes were measured before and after completion of the RT program and two months after completion. Wait-list participants also had measures taken just before starting on the wait-list.

RESULTS: The RT group exhibited a 63-70% (P ≤ .01) reduction in depression, a 48% (P ≤ .01) reduction in stress, a 23% (P ≤ .01) reduction in trait anxiety, and a 52% (P ≤ .01) reduction in presenteeism (a per-employee savings of $1846 over the eight-week program). All outcomes were statistically significantly different from the wait-list group. Most improvements persisted up to two months after completion of the RT program.

CONCLUSIONS: Further replication with a larger sample size, and enhanced control group is warranted.


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