Subscribe to RSS
An Experimental Prospective Study on Effectiveness of Brief Heartfulness-Based Start ‘U’p Program on Anxiety and Perceived Stress in Allied Health Students
Aim and Objectives Health care education is an important issue in the development of countries. Stress and anxiety among health care students and workers are an area of increasing concern worldwide. Meditative practices have been shown to improve overall wellness. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and feasibility of a brief Heartfulness-Based Start ‘U’p program to reduce anxiety and perceived stress in allied health students of Mahatma Gandhi Mission School of Biomedical Sciences (MGMSBS), Mahatma Gandhi Mission Institute of Health Sciences (MGMIHS), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. The objective of this study was first to study the prevalence of anxiety and perceived stress in allied health students of MGMSBS, MGMIHS, Navi Mumbai, and then to study the effect of heartfulness meditation on measures of said emotional wellness.
Methods Seven sessions of Start ‘U’p Heartfulness Meditation of 2-hour duration once in every week was held over the course of 7 weeks. Two hundred and three participants enrolled for the heartfulness intervention. Changes in stress levels, anxiety levels, and mindfulness skills were assessed. Three self-reporting questionnaire tools—Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ)—were used to determine the categorical scales (low, medium, and high) for anxiety and stress among students from baseline to post-intervention.
Results Our study revealed an improvement in anxiety and perceived stress post-intervention of brief Heartfulness-Based Start ‘U’p Program. Out of 203 students in this study, 75.86% were female and 24.14% were male. Students' BAI scores dropped an average of 2.91 points, whereas PSS scores dropped an average of 1.61 points. The largest increase in mindfulness was seen for nonjudging, with an average increase of 2.1 points (p ≤ 0.05) in categorical data from pre- to post-intervention based on the FFMQ tool.
Conclusion Our results indicate that heartfulness meditation practice offers an accessible and efficient method by which students' anxiety and stress can be improved. This may also improve their engagement in learning-oriented approaches and class activities.
KeywordsBeck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) - Education - Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) - heartfulness meditation - Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) - Start ‘U’p
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Article published online:
01 May 2023
© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
A-12, 2nd Floor, Sector 2, Noida-201301 UP, India
- 1 Ghodasara SL, Davidson MA, Reich MS, Savoie CV, Rodgers SM. Assessing student mental health at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Acad Med 2011; 86 (01) 116-121
- 2 Dyrbye LN, Thomas MR, Shanafelt TD. Medical student distress: causes, consequences, and proposed solutions. Mayo Clin Proc 2005; 80 (12) 1613-1622
- 3 Hope V, Henderson M. Medical student depression, anxiety and distress outside North America: a systematic review. Med Educ 2014; 48 (10) 963-979
- 4 Dyrbye LN, Thomas MR, Shanafelt TD. Systematic review of depression, anxiety, and other indicators of psychological distress among U.S. and Canadian medical students. Acad Med 2006; 81 (04) 354-373
- 5 Ngasa SN, Sama CB, Dzekem BS. et al. Prevalence and factors associated with depression among medical students in Cameroon: a cross-sectional study. BMC Psychiatry 2017; 17 (01) 216
- 6 Menon V, Sarkar S. Barriers to service utilization among medical students. Intl J Adv Med Health Res 2014; 1: 104-105
- 7 Gold JA, Johnson B, Leydon G, Rohrbaugh RM, Wilkins KM. Mental health self-care in medical students: a comprehensive look at help-seeking. Acad Psychiatry 2015; 39 (01) 37-46
- 8 Haldorsen H, Bak NH, Dissing A, Petersson B. Stress and symptoms of depression among medical students at the University of Copenhagen. Scand J Public Health 2014; 42 (01) 89-95
- 9 Sarkar S, Gupta R, Menon V. A systematic review of depression, anxiety, and stress among medical students in India. J Ment Health Hum Behav 2017; 22: 88-96
- 10 Vizheh M, Qorbani M, Arzaghi SM, Muhidin S, Javanmard Z, Esmaeili M. The mental health of healthcare workers in the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review. J Diabetes Metab Disord 2020; 19 (02) 1967-1978
- 11 Tacón AM, McComb J, Caldera Y, Randolph P. Mindfulness meditation, anxiety reduction, and heart disease: a pilot study. Fam Community Health 2003; 26 (01) 25-33
- 12 Patel KD, Pollock J. The Heartfulness way: Heart-based meditations for spiritual transformation. New Harbinger Publications: 2018: 283-298
- 13 Thimmapuram J, Pargament R, Sibliss K, Grim R, Risques R, Toorens E. Effect of heartfulness meditation on burnout, emotional wellness, and telomere length in health care professionals. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect 2017; 7 (01) 21-27
- 14 Thimmapuram J, Yommer D, Tudor L, Bell T, Dumitrescu C, Davis R. Heartfulness meditation improves sleep in chronic insomnia. J Community Hosp Intern Med Perspect 2020; 10 (01) 10-15
- 15 Iyer RB, Iyer BN. The impact of heartfulness-based elective on middle school students. Am J Health Behav 2019; 43 (04) 812-823
- 16 Jung RE, Mead BS, Carrasco J, Flores RA. The structure of creative cognition in the human brain. Front Hum Neurosci 2013; 7: 330
- 17 Bardhoshi G, Duncan K, Erford BT. Psychometric meta-analysis of the English version of the Beck Anxiety Inventory. J Couns Dev 2016; 94: 356-373
- 18 Piotrowski C. The status of the Beck Anxiety Inventory in contemporary research. Psychol Rep 1999; 85 (01) 261-262
- 19 Cohen S. Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In: The Social Psychology of Health. Ann Arbor: 1988: 31-67
- 20 Lee EH. Review of the psychometric evidence of the Perceived Stress Scale. Asian Nurs Res 2012; 6 (04) 121-127
- 21 Baer RA, Smith GT, Hopkins J, Krietemeyer J, Toney L. Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment 2006; 13 (01) 27-45
- 22 Thimmapuram J, Pargament R, Bell T, Schurk H, Madhusudhan DK. Heartfulness meditation improves loneliness and sleep in physicians and advance practice providers during COVID-19 pandemic. Hospital Practice 2021; 1-9
- 23 Iyer L, Iyer RB, Kumar V. A relaxation app (HeartBot) for stress and emotional well-being over a 21-day challenge: randomized survey study. JMIR Form Res 2021; 5 (01) e22041