Effectiveness of mindfulness based mental fitness training: an impact evaluation study

Alhad Anant Pawar, Jayant Kumar Panda, Saurabh Bobdey


Background: Mindfulness-based mental fitness training (MBMFT) based on Vipassana is a secular, non-religious method found to be useful in reducing stress, anxiety and depression in a variety of population. Studies have revealed that an increasing percentage of population experiences high stress. The present study was conducted to evaluate impact of a mindfulness-based mental fitness training (MBMFT) programme on levels of stress and resilience among students of school in an industrial establishment.  

Methods: Sixty nine students aged 18-20 years of an industrial establishment who volunteered and met the inclusion criteria were included in the study. The participants were randomly divided into two groups, group I (n=35) were given 8 weeks of Mindfulness-Based Mental Fitness Training, and group II (n=34) followed the normal curricula of the school. Questionnaires were completed on psychological well-being and mindfulness by the participants initially and after 08 weeks.

Results: The students who underwent MBMFT (group-I) had significantly (p<0.05) higher FFMQ scores at 08 weeks (130.10±9.69) as compared to baseline scores (122.55±12.7) and scores of the group II (117.95±10.1). Group I students also had lower perceived stress scores at the end of 08 weeks of MBMFT. Personal resilience was assessed only for Group-I using Personal Resilience Questionnaire (PRQ). The PRQ score increased significantly (p= 0.000) from mean baseline score of 157.76±10.14 to 166.31±13.01 at the end of 8 weeks.

Conclusions: Mindfulness based Mental Fitness Training is an effective method which can be used to enhance the ability of personnel to combat stress. Future large scale multi centric research is required to further validate the effectiveness of MBMFT and to assess feasibility of inclusion of MBMFT as regular aspect in training institutions.



Mindfulness, Mindfulness based mental fitness training, Resilience, Stress

Full Text:



Baer R, Smith G, Allen K.Assessment of mindfulness by self-reports: The Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills. Assessment. 2004;11:191-206.

Brown KW, Ryan RM, Creswell DJ. Mindfulness: theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects . Psychological Inquiry. 2007;18:211-37.

Brown KW, Ryan RM. The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological w ell-being. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003;4:822-48.

Kabat-Zinn J. Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress , pain and illness . London: Piatkus Books Ltd. 2004.

Tacón JM, Caldera Y, Randolph P. Mindfulness meditation, anxiety reduction, and heart disease: a pilot study. Fam Community Health. 2003;26:25-33.

Rosenzweig S, Reibel DK, Greeson JM, Edman JS, Jasser SA, McMearty KD, et al. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is associated with improved glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study Altern Ther Health Med. 2007;13:36-8.

Kabat-Zinn J, Wheeler E, Light T, Skillings A, Scharf MJ, Cropley TG, et al. Influence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA). Psychosom Med. 1998;60:625-32.

Kabat-Zinn J, Lipworth L, Burney R, Sellers W. Four-year follow-up of a meditation-based program for the self-regulation of chronic pain: treatment outcomes and compliance. Clin J Pain. 1987;2:159-73.

Surawy C, Roberts J, Silver A. The effect of mindfulness training on mood and measures of fatigue, activity, and quality of life in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome on a hospital waiting list: a series of exploratory studies. Behav Cogn Psychother. 2005;33:103-9.

Astin JA. Stress reduction through mindfulness meditation. Effects on psychological symptomatology, sense of control, and spiritual experiences. Psychother Psychosom. 1997;66:97-106.

Chang VY, Palesh O, Caldwell R, Glasgow N, Abramson M, Luskin F, et al. The effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program on stress, mindfulness self-efficacy, and positive states of mind. Stress Health. 2004;20:141-7.

Pawar AA, Rathod J. Occupational Stress in Naval Personnel. MJAFI. 2007;63:154-56.

Pawar AA, Chikkanna CB, Rote MS, Singh RJ, Bhanot G, Pillai A, et al. Occupational Stress and Social Support in Naval Personnel. MJAFI. 2012;68:360-65.

US Dept of Defense website. Article on 'Mindfulness helps soldiers cope in Iraq’. Available on news/ 2010/ 02/ 18/ mindfulness-training-helpful-for-the-military/ 11562.html.

Cohen S, Kamarck Tom, Mermelstein R. A Global Measure of Perceived Stress. J Health Soc Behav. 1983;24:385-39.

Augustine LF, Vazir S, Rao SF, Rao VVM, Laxmaiah A, Nair KM. Perceived stress, life events & coping among higher secondary students of Hyderabad, India: A pilot study. Indian J Med Res. 2011;134(1):61-8.

Baer RA, Smith GT, Hopkins J, Krietemeyer J, Toney L. Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness. Assessment. 2006;13:27-45.

Baer RA, Smith GT, Lykins E, Button D, Krietemeyer J, Sauer S et al. Construct validity of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples. Assessment. 2008;15:329-42.

Personal Resilience Questionnaire (PRQ) prepared and validated by salt-box available at uploads/ 1/ 0/ 1/ 9/ 10196192/ resilience_questionnaire. pdf and downloaded on 10 Jun 15.

Crawford C, Wallerstedt DB, Khorsan R, Clausen SS. A Systematic Review of Biopsychosocial Training Programs for the Self-Management of Emotional Stress: Potential Applications for the Military. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.. Volume 2013, Article ID 747694, 0.1155/2013/747694.

Bazarko D, Cate RA, Azocar F, Kreitzer MJ. The impact of an innovative mindfulness-based stress reduction program on the health and well-being of nurses employed in a corporate setting. J Workplace Behav Health. 2013;28:107-33.

De Vibe M, Solhaug I, Tyssen R. Mindfulness training for stress management: a randomised controlled study of medical and psychology students. BMC Med Educ. 2013;13:107.

Sharma M, Rush SE. Mindfulness based stress reduction as a stress management intervention for healthy individuals: a systematic review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;19(4):271-86.

Grossman P. On measuring mindfulness. J Psychosom Res. 2008;64:405-8.

Reibel DK, Grees JM, Brainard GC, Rosenzweig S. Mindfulness -based stress reduction and health-related quality of life in a heterogenous patient population. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2001;23:183-92.

Flook L, Goldberg SB, Pinger L, Bonus K, Davidson RJ. Mindfulness for teachers: a pilot study to assess effects on stress, burnout and teaching efficacy. Mind Brain Educ. 2013;7(3).

Tanner MA, Travis F, Gaylord-King C, Haaga DAF, Grosswald S, Schneider RH. The effects of the transcendental mediation program on mindfulness. J Clin Psychol Special Issue: Mindfulness. 2009;65(6):574-89.

Josefsson T, Larsman P, Broberg AG, Lundh LG. Self-Reported Mindfulness Mediates the Relation Between Meditation Experience and Psychological Well-Being. Mindfulness. 2011;2(1):49-58.

Rutter M. Implications of resilience concepts for scientific understanding. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2006;1094:1-12.

Souri H, Hasanirad T. Relationship between resilience, optimism, and psychological well-being in students of Medicine. Procedia Soc Behav Sci. 2011;30:1541-4.

Johnson DC, Thom NJ, Stanley EA, Haase L, Simmons AN, Shih PA et al. Modifying resilience mechanisms in at-risk individuals: a controlled study of mindfulness training in Marines preparing for deployment. Am J Psychiatry. 2014;171(8):844-53.

Pidgeon AM, Keye M. Relationship between resilience, mindfulness and pyschological well-being in University students. Int J Liberal Arts and Social Science. 2014:27-32.