Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of mindfulness meditation using the Headspace™ app on mindfulness, mental well-being, and perceived stress in pharmacy students.
Methods: Professional year one (P1), professional year two (P2,) and professional year 3 (P3) pharmacy students were recruited to participate. Students were instructed to meditate using the Headspace™ app for at least 10min per day for four weeks. Students at baseline completed the health promoting lifestyle profile (HPLP). Data was collected from the pre/post surveys using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS), and Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).
Results: Ninety-two pharmacy students enrolled in the study. Seventy-percent of the participants completed the study. Only one participant was excluded in the post data analysis due to non-adherence with the protocol. The data revealed that for all scales the intervention was associated with enhanced mindfulness and mental well-being and decreased perceived stress. Further analysis indicated that controlling for various health promoting lifestyle behaviors preserves the positive impact of mindfulness meditation as demonstrated.
Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation uniformly and independently improved the participants overall mental health. The data supports a feasible option for minimizing stress and maintaining mental well-being in a demanding professional program. This study encourages students in pharmacy schools to adopt these practices in their curriculum.
Keywords: Headspace™; Health promoting lifestyle; Mental well-being; Mindfulness meditation; Perceived stress.
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