Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on medical and premedical students

Shauna L. Shapiro, Gary E. Schwartz, Ginny Bonner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

983 Scopus citations


The inability to cope successfully with the enormous stress of medical education may lead to a cascade of consequences at both a personal and professional level. The present study examined the short-term effects of an 8 week meditation-based stress reduction intervention on premedical and medical students using a well-controlled statistical design. Findings indicate that participation in the intervention can effectively (1) reduce self-reported state and trait anxiety, (2) reduce reports of overall psychological distress including depression, (3) increase scores on overall empathy levels, and (4) increase scores on a measure of spiritual experiences assessed at termination of intervention. These results (5) replicated in the wait-list control group, (6) held across different experiments, and (7) were observed during the exam period. Future research should address potential long-term effects of mindfulness training for medical and premedical students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-599
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Empathy
  • Medical education
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Spirituality
  • Stress- management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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