Beyond the individual: group effects in mindfulness-based stress reduction

Psychother Res. 2008 Nov;18(6):735-42. doi: 10.1080/10503300802326038.


The authors explored the group as a source of change in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Participants consisted of 606 adults in 59 groups who completed an 8-week MBSR program. The authors examined change in the General Symptom Index (GSI) of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised and the Medical Symptom Checklist (MSC) from pre- to postintervention. Multilevel models were used to examine the extent to which groups differed in the amount of change reported by the participants. After controlling for pretreatment severity, group accounted for 7% of the variability in the GSI and 0% in the MSC. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for the practice of MBSR as well as for research investigating the effects of MBSR and other programs or psychotherapies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychotherapeutic Processes*
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*
  • Self Care
  • Yoga*