Accessibility and feasibility of using technology to support mindfulness practice, reduce stress and promote long term mental health

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018 Nov;33:93-99. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.09.001. Epub 2018 Sep 8.


Background and purpose: We evaluated the feasibility of using an activity monitor to support mindfulness practice, reduce self-reported stress and physiological indicators of stress.

Materials and methods: Adult women (N = 19) who previously participated in a mindfulness intervention wore an activity monitor for eight-weeks. The activity monitor notified them when they were stressed (based on standard deviation pulse pressure). Heart rate and pulse pressure were continuously collected via the activity monitor. Mindfulness, stress, depression and trauma symptoms were collected via self-report surveys.

Results: There were no significant changes in self-reported stress, depression, post-traumatic stress and mindfulness from baseline to eight-weeks. Pulse pressure and standard deviation of pulse pressure increased over time. Those who were high on the non-judge mindfulness subscale had a lower standard deviation pulse pressure and spent less time stressed.

Conclusion: Those who are more mindful are less likely to have physiological signs of stress.

Keywords: Activity monitor; Depression; Mindfulness; Stress; Technology; Underserved.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomedical Technology / methods
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Depression* / diagnosis
  • Depression* / prevention & control
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Mobile Applications
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory* / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory* / methods
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Stress, Psychological* / ethnology
  • Stress, Psychological* / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological* / therapy
  • United States