Guided respiration mindfulness therapy (GRMT) is a clinical model of breathwork that has shown promise as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress. This study examined the effectiveness of GRMT as a holistically oriented intervention for reducing psychological distress in nurses. Sixty-two nurses were assigned to either five sessions of GRMT or 5 sessions of a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) comparison condition which were conducted over 5 weeks. A no-treatment control was also included. Session-by-session change in depression, anxiety, and stress, along with change in mindfulness and self-compassion were assessed. Multilevel analysis showed GRMT resulted in statistically significant reductions in overall psychological distress, anxiety, and stress levels, as well as significant increases in mindfulness and self-compassion with large to very large effect sizes. On all measures, GRMT performed better than the comparison MBI intervention which showed no significant effect on stress levels. Results suggest that GRMT can provide nurses with an effective group intervention for reducing stress, and increasing mindfulness and self-compassion which are foundational elements of self-care for the holistic nurse.
Keywords: GRMT; anxiety; breathwork; guided respiration mindfulness therapy; mindfulness; nurses; stress.