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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 960583, 8 pages
Research Article

A Randomized, Controlled Trial of Meditation for Work Stress, Anxiety and Depressed Mood in Full-Time Workers

1Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney University, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia
2Faculty of Health Sciences, Cumberland Campus C42, The University of Sydney, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW 1825, Australia
3Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3121, Australia
4NICM Collaborative Centre for Neurocognition, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Received 9 February 2011; Revised 4 March 2011; Accepted 9 March 2011

Copyright © 2011 R. Manocha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To assess the effect of meditation on work stress, anxiety and mood in full-time workers. Methods. 178 adult workers participated in an 8-week, 3-arm randomized controlled trial comparing a “mental silence” approach to meditation (n=59) to a “relaxation” active control (n=56) and a wait-list control (n=63). Participants were assessed before and after using Psychological Strain Questionnaire (PSQ), a subscale of the larger Occupational Stress Inventory (OSI), the State component of the State/Trait Anxiety Inventory for Adults (STAI), and the depression-dejection (DD) subscale of the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Results. There was a significant improvement for the meditation group compared to both the relaxation control and the wait-list groups the PSQ (P=.026), and DD (P=.019). Conclusions. Mental silence-orientated meditation, in this case Sahaja Yoga meditation, is a safe and effective strategy for dealing with work stress and depressive feelings. The findings suggest that “thought reduction” or “mental silence” may have specific effects relevant to work stress and hence occupational health.