Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Community and Family Health

Major Professor

Karen Perrin

Keywords

anxiety, community-based groups, depression, mindfulness meditation, public health, stress

Abstract

Long-term mindfulness meditation for anxiety, depression, pain and stress has not been adequately investigated in academic literature. The majority of literature in relation to mindfulness meditation and these ailments concerns Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. This is a short-term 6-8 week program that requires a licensed professional, is limited in availability, high cost, and combines other elements aside from mindfulness meditation, such as yoga, martial arts, group discussion, poetry and other teaching techniques meant to increase mindfulness concentration. Furthermore, efficacy studies, which have assessed the long-term impact of MBSR are inconclusive. Although these studies on long-term practice demonstrate a sustained positive impact from MBSR, they neglect the role that sustained individual practice and group practice played on participants. These participants continued long-term mindfulness meditation practice after the MBSR program had concluded. Moreover, there is a need to explore long-term mindfulness meditation and whether this is more efficacious regarding anxiety, depression, stress and pain than MBSR alone. This dissertation study explored, through 37 semi-structured qualitative interviews, the perceived effect of regular mindfulness meditation on practitioners in West Central Florida who have practiced longer than 6-8 weeks and maintain a consistent individual and group practice. No study of this kind is currently in existence. This exploratory study could provide further insight into dose-responses most beneficial for reducing anxiety, depression, stress and pain, and the potential role of mindfulness meditation alone in this relationship.

Included in

Public Health Commons

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