DNP Scholarly Projects

Abstract

Background: Chronic stress can lead to hypertension, tachycardia, and increased inflammatory markers, which put individuals at risk for chronic diseases. Mindful meditation not only decreases perceived stress but also has the potential to decrease the risk of chronic diseases and health care cost. Purpose: The purpose of this mindfulness meditation project is to reaffirm that mindfulness meditation decreases perceived stress scores and to determine whether mindfulness meditation decreases health care cost. Theoretical Model: The relation of mindfulness meditation, lowered stress levels, and chronic diseases can be explained by the social cognitive theory (SCT). Applying SCT, meditation’s goal is to alter one’s environment and personal cognitive and affective factors in order to decrease stress and to influence one’s persona to respond appropriately to emotional and maladaptive behavior. Project Design: The quasi-experimental mindfulness meditation project analyzed the pre- versus post- perceived stress scores and claims data. Data collection was accomplished through perceived stress score surveys and claims data retrieval for demographic data, chronic diseases, and cost of health care. Results: 36 participants in three mindfulness meditation groups completed the program. Of these, 22 participated in private sessions, 7 participated in group sessions, and 7 participated in both private and group sessions. A total of 13 participants within the sample population had complete claims data 6 months pre-program and 6 months post-program. Participants reported significant decreases in perceived stress after participating in the mindfulness meditation program (t = 7.346, p < .05) with a large effect size (r=0.779). Participant’s total health care cost retrieved from claims data did not show a significant difference in cost after participating in the mindfulness meditation program (p>.05). Discussion: The study reaffirmed participation in a mindfulness meditation program as an effective strategy to decrease perceived stress. This finding is consistent with the literature that mindfulness training should increase one’s ability to respond mindfully to daily life experiences, which in turn should lead to improvements in the person’s ability to adapt to stress. No significant change in health care cost occurred within 6 months of program completion. Future studies could analyze the effect of mindfulness meditation on participant health care cost over a longer period of time.

Date

4-28-2017

First Advisor

Linda Wofford

Scholarly Project Team Member

Jeannie Giese

Scholarly Project Team Member

Wendy Wright

Department

Nursing, School of

College

Health Sciences & Nursing, Gordon E. Inman College of

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree

Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Level

Doctoral

Degree Grantor

Belmont University

Keywords

mindfulness meditation; perceived stress; cost

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