Mindfulness Meditation Versus Physical Exercise in the Management of Depression Among Nursing Students

J Nurs Educ. 2017 Oct 1;56(10):599-604. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20170918-04.


Background: Depression among nursing students is an ongoing problem. Several psychotherapies have been suggested as alternatives to antidepressants in the management of depression. The aim of this randomized controlled study was to compare the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation versus physical exercise in the management of depression among nursing students.

Method: A sample of 181 soon-to-graduate nursing students participated in the study and were assigned at random to one of two therapies: physical exercise (n = 90) or mindfulness meditation (n = 91). The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was completed by the participants in both groups prior to the therapies and after completion.

Results: The findings indicated that both therapies were effective in the management of depression. However, mindfulness meditation is more effective than physical exercise.

Conclusion: Mindfulness meditation is recommended over physical exercise in the management of depression among undergraduate nursing students. [J Nurs Educ. 2017;56(10):599-604.].

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jordan
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Mindfulness*
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Young Adult