Does mindfulness meditation contribute to health? Outcome evaluation of a German sample

J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Dec;8(6):719-30; discussion 731-5. doi: 10.1089/10755530260511720.


Objectives: This exploratory study is the first systematic outcome evaluation to examine the effects of an 8-week meditation-based program in mindfulness in a German sample.

Design: Twenty-one (21) participants with chronic physical, psychologic, or psychosomatic illnesses were examined in a longitudinal pretest and post-treatment design with a 3-month follow-up.

Outcome measures: Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered. Emotional and general physical well-being, sense of coherence, overall psychologic distress, and satisfaction with life were measured with standardized instruments.

Results: Overall, the interventions led to high levels of adherence to the meditation practice and satisfaction with the benefits of the course, as well as effective and lasting reductions of symptoms (especially in psychologic distress, well-being, and quality of life). Changes were of moderate-to-large effect sizes. Positive complementary effects with psychotherapy were also found.

Conclusions: These findings warrant controlled studies to evaluate the efficacy and cost effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction as an intervention for chronic physical and psychosomatic disorders in Germany.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Awareness
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome