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Psych Congress  

The Effects of Mindfulness on Depression and Anxiety

Luis Fernando Fong, PMHNP-BC – Bayless Integrated Healthcare; Ann Guthery, PhD, PMHNP-BC – Arizona State University; Russell Horning, PMHNP – Bayless Integrated Healthcare

Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety.Background:  Evidence suggests that the combination of mindfulness based therapy and traditional pharmacological therapy provides relief from depressive and anxious symptoms and lengthens the amount of time between recurrent episodes thus improving quality of life.

Methods: 35 adults diagnosed with depression and anxiety at an integrated health clinic in the Southwestern United States were invited to participate in a self-directed 10 minute daily practice of mindfulness spanning 60 days. Prior to the intervention, participants completed the PHQ-9, GAD-7, and MAAS questionnaires in person. At 30 and 60 days post intervention, the same questionnaires were completed.

Results: Paired samples t test statistic was used to compare the results of the measures at baseline and at the 30 day mark. 17 participants completed the primary endpoint of 30 days and only 3 completed the 60 day endpoint. PHQ-9 mean score decreased from 16.7 to 12.9 (t(16) = 3.054, p = .008). GAD-7 mean score decreased from 16.9 to 11.4 (t(16) = 4.536, p < .001) . MAAS increased from a mean score of 40.0 to 48.4 (t(16) = - 6.437, p < .001).

Conclusion: The results demonstrated decreased depression and anxiety when using a self-directed mindfulness program in conjunction with pharmacological treatment. The ease of use demonstrated the value of mindfulness and self-directed skills aimed at improving wellness, reducing depression and anxiety which will result in the improvement of individual, economic, and community health.

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