Effects of mindfulness meditation on occupational functioning and health care utilization in individuals with anxiety

Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials
Journal of psychosomatic research
Publication date:
01 January 2017


OBJECTIVES: To examine the effect of mindfulness meditation on occupational functioning in individuals with Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).METHODS: Fifty-seven individuals with GAD (mean (SD) age=39 (13); 56% women) participated in an 8-week clinical trial in which they were randomized to mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or an attention control class. In this secondary analysis, absenteeism, entire workdays missed, partial workdays missed, and healthcare utilization patterns were assessed before and after treatment.RESULTS: Compared to the attention control class, participation in MBSR was associated with a significantly greater decrease in partial work days missed for adults with GAD (t=2.734, df=51, p=0.009). Interestingly, a dose effect was observed during the 24-week post-treatment follow-up period: among MBSR participants, greater home mindfulness meditation practice was associated with less work loss and with fewer mental health professional visits.CONCLUSION: Mindfulness meditation training may improve occupational functioning and decrease healthcare utilization in adults with GAD.