Reducing adverse effects of childhood Stress and trauma

Ortiz, Robin, and Erica M. Sibinga. “The Role of Mindfulness in Reducing the Adverse Effects of Childhood Stress and Trauma.” Children, vol. 4, no. 3, 2017, pp. 16. Full text.

Abstract. Research suggests that many children are exposed to adverse experiences in childhood. Such adverse childhood exposures may result in stress and trauma, which are associated with increased morbidity and mortality into adulthood.

In general populations and trauma-exposed adults, mindfulness interventions have demonstrated reduced depression and anxiety, reduced trauma-related symptoms, enhanced coping and mood, and improved quality of life. Studies in children and youth also demonstrate that mindfulness interventions improve mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes.

Taken together, this research suggests that high-quality, structured mindfulness instruction may mitigate the negative effects of stress and trauma related to adverse childhood exposures, improving short- and long-term outcomes, and potentially reducing poor health outcomes in adulthood. Future work is needed to optimize implementation of youth-based mindfulness programs and to study long-term outcomes into adulthood.

Decreases psychological stress response in breast cancer patients

Kang, G., & Oh, S. (2012). Effects of Mindfulness Meditation Program on Perceived Stress, Ways of Coping, and Stress Response in Breast Cancer Patients. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, 42(2), 161-170. [Abstract].

Purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Mindfulness Meditation program on perceived stress, ways of coping, salivary cortisol level, and psychological stress response in patients with breast cancer.

This was a quasi-experimental study with a non-equivalent control group pre-post test design. Participants in this study were 50 patients who had completed breast cancer treatment (experimental group, 25, control group, 25). The experimental group received the Mindfulness Meditation program for 3 hours/session/ week for 8 weeks.

The experimental group had significantly lower scores for perceived stress, emotional focused coping, salivary cortisol level, and psychological stress response compared to the control group. However, no significant differences were found between two groups for the scores on problem focused stress coping.

Conclusion. According to the results, the Mindfulness Meditation program was useful for decreasing perceived stress, emotional focused coping, salivary cortisol level, and psychological stress response. Therefore, this program is an effective nursing intervention to decrease stress in patients with breast cancer.