Background: Depression and anxiety disorders are two of the most common mental disorders in the United States. These disorders are prevalent among college students.
Objective: The main objective of this study is to compare the effectiveness of two different types of intervention practices (mindfulness vs. yoga) and a noninterventional control group in mitigating the effects of depression and/or anxiety in college students.
Method: A sample of 90 students (both genders) over age 18 who had a diagnosis of anxiety and/or depression was recruited from 11,500 undergraduate college students in a mid-size university. The study's design included stratified-randomized controlled repeated measures with three groups: a mindfulness intervention group, a yoga-only intervention group, and a noninterventional group. Participants were randomly assigned to the aforementioned three groups. Participants in the intervention groups received an 8-week training either in mindfulness or yoga. Depressive, anxiety, stress symptoms, self-compassion, and mindfulness were measured at baseline, Week 4, Week 8, and Week 12.
Results: Depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms decreased significantly (p < .01) from baseline to follow-up conditions in both the mindfulness and yoga intervention groups. The changes in mindfulness scores were also significant in both groups. However, the changes in self-compassion scores were significant only in the mindfulness intervention group. No significant changes in the control group were demonstrated.
Conclusions: The findings from this study can provide useful information to nurses and other health care providers. This study may have implications for a cost-effective treatment for depression and anxiety.
Keywords: anxiety; college students; depression; mindfulness; yoga.
© The Author(s) 2016.