Online mindfulness course can significantly decrease perceived stress

Krusche, A., Cyhlarova, E., King, S., & Williams, J. M. G. (2012). Mindfulness online: a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility of a web-based mindfulness course and the impact on stress. BMJ open, 2(3). Full text.

Article summary

  • Stress maintained over time can cause a number of negative effects, both physically and psychologically.
  • Mindfulness interventions have been shown to have significant beneficial effects to health including significantly decreasing stress.
  • Research question: is an online mindfulness course a feasible way to provide an intervention and decrease perceived stress?
Key messages

  • An online mindfulness course can significantly decrease perceived stress.
  • The decrease in stress is maintained at 1 month follow-up and is comparable to other interventions.
  • The online mindfulness course is an accessible and acceptable way for people to receive an intervention that can offer a way to decrease levels of perceived stress.
Strengths and limitations of this study

  • The sample consisted of people who had signed up to and paid for the online course that limits the extent to which we can extrapolate to those who might use it because referred by others (such as a health professional).
  • The effect of practice on mindfulness was not examined, so it is unclear what mediates the change in perceived stress. Other factors contributing to a decrease in stress were not included in this preliminary evaluation.