mindfulness, Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, nursing students, undergraduate, stress, anxiety, depression, mental health




Genevieve Elrod


Undergraduate nursing students endure unique stressors that potentiate negative consequences to their mental health. Mindfulness-based interventions may improve these negative mental health symptoms in nursing students. The objective of this review is to assess available research regarding the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on the negative mental health symptoms of undergraduate nursing students. The databases CINAHL Complete, PubMed, and PsycINFO were searched for relevant research. Search terms were brainstormed and individually assessed to determine relevancy to the research question. In order to be incorporated into this systematic review, all assessed studies needed to include (1) an intervention rooted in mindfulness, (2) a sample of nursing students in a 4-year program (3) research outcomes pertaining to mental health, and (4) publication in a peer-reviewed source. Of the 74 articles found within the initial database search and 14 hand-picked articles, 7 studies met the inclusion criteria. Of these 7 studies, 3 were randomized controlled trials, 2 were quasi-experimental studies with a pretest, post-test design and control group, and 2 were mixed-method studies. Overall, these research studies found that mindfulness interventions significantly decreased negative mental health symptoms in nursing students such as anxiety, stress, and depression. Though the results of these studies support the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions as a means of improving mental health symptoms, many of these studies lack generalizability and possess small sample sizes leading to insufficient statistical power. Though more randomized controlled trials with sufficient power and well-executed designs must be conducted, initial research suggests that interventions rooted in mindfulness may improve the negative mental health symptoms of undergraduate nursing students.

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Nursing Commons