Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on depression, anxiety, stress and mindfulness in Korean nursing students

Nurse Educ Today. 2015 Jan;35(1):86-90. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2014.06.010. Epub 2014 Jul 9.


Background: Nursing students often experience depression, anxiety, stress and decreased mindfulness which may decrease their patient care effectiveness. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) effectively reduced depression, anxiety and stress, and increased mindfulness in previous research with other populations, but there is sparse evidence regarding its effectiveness for nursing students in Korea.

Objectives: To examine the effects of MBSR on depression, anxiety, stress and mindfulness in Korean nursing students.

Design: A randomized controlled trial.

Participants/setting: Fifty (50) nursing students at KN University College of Nursing in South Korea were randomly assigned to two groups. Data from 44 students, MBSR (n=21) and a wait list (WL) control (n=23) were analyzed.

Methods: The MBSR group practiced mindfulness meditation for 2 h every week for 8 weeks. The WL group did not receive MBSR intervention. Standardized self-administered questionnaires of depression, anxiety, stress and mindfulness were administered at the baseline prior to the MBSR program and at completion (at 8 weeks).

Results: Compared with WL participants, MBSR participants reported significantly greater decreases in depression, anxiety and stress, and greater increase in mindfulness.

Conclusion: A program of MBSR was effective when it was used with nursing students in reducing measures of depression, anxiety and stress, and increasing their mindful awareness. MBSR shows promise for use with nursing students to address their experience of mild depression, anxiety and stress, and to increase mindfulness in academic and clinical work, warranting further study.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Mindfulness; Mindfulness-based stress reduction; Stress.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Republic of Korea
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires