Nurse leader mindfulness meditation program for stress management: a randomized controlled trial

J Nurs Adm. 2009 Mar;39(3):130-7. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e31819894a0.


Objective: The aim of this study was to rigorously evaluate a brief stress management intervention for nurse leaders.

Background: Despite the nursing shortage, evidence-based workplace approaches addressing nurse stress have not been well studied.

Methods: Nurse leaders (n = 33) were randomly assigned to brief mindfulness meditation course (MMC) or leadership course (control). Self-report measures of stress were administered at baseline and within 1 week of course completion.

Results: Among MMC participants, change scores (from baseline to postintervention) on several subscales of the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised showed significantly more improvement in self-reported stress symptoms relative to controls. Mindfulness meditation course participants had significantly more improvement in Positive Symptom Distress Index (P = 0.010; confidence interval [CI] = -0.483 to -0.073) and Global Severity Index (P = 0.019; CI = -0.475 to -0.046) and nearly significantly more improvement in Positive Symptom Total (P = 0.066; CI = -16.66 to 0.581) compared with controls.

Conclusion: Results support preliminary effectiveness of a 4-week MMC in reducing self-reported stress symptoms among nursing leaders.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Meditation*
  • Nurses*
  • Program Development*
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology