Background: Chronic stress affects many Americans. Stress management programs may be prohibitively expensive or have limited access.
Purpose: This study aims to determine feasibility of an 8-week Internet-based stress management program (ISM) based on mindfulness principles in reducing stress in a 12-week, parallel, randomized, controlled trial.
Methods: Participants were randomly allocated to ISM, ISM plus online message board (ISM+), or control groups. Perceived stress, mindfulness, self-transcendence, psychological well-being, vitality, and quality of life were measured at baseline, week 8, and week 12 using standard validated questionnaires.
Results: ISM and ISM+ groups demonstrated statistically significant improvements compared with control on all measures except vitality and physical health.
Conclusions: The ISM program effectively and sustainably reduced measures of stress. The magnitude of improvement is comparable to traditional mindfulness programs, although fewer participants were engaged. This feasibility study provides strong support for online stress management programs, which increase access at a fraction of cost of traditional programs.