Examining the efficacy of a brief mindfulness-based stress reduction (brief MBSR) program on psychological health

Dessa Bergen-Cico, Kyle Possemato, Sanghyeon Cheon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of the study was to examine potential psychological health benefits of participating in a brief (5-week) mindfulness-based stress reduction (brief MBSR) program integrated into an academic course. Participants: Participants were 119 undergraduate students (treatment: n = 72; control: n = 47) enrolled in elective academic courses on addictive behaviors, between January 2010 and May 2012. Methods: This study employed a quasi-experimental pretest/posttest design comparing changes in psychological health between brief MBSR treatment and parallel control groups. Baseline and follow-up data were collected synchronously across semesters for both groups. Results: Analysis of covariance revealed significant improvements in psychological health, measured by mindfulness (Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale: p ≤.001; Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Scale: p ≤.001) and self-compassion (Self-compassion Scale: p ≤.001), among brief MBSR participants compared with the parallel control cohort. Significant reductions in trait anxiety were not evident. Conclusions: Brief MBSR programs can improve psychological health; however, longer MBSR programs may be needed to improve psychological distress, such as trait anxiety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-360
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • brief mindfulness-based stress reduction (brief MBSR)
  • mindfulness
  • psychological health
  • self-compassion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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