Undergraduate Research


College students report high levels of stress and anxiety, and these levels have increased due to the recent COVID-19 global pandemic. Mindfulness-based programs may help college students cope with stress and anxiety, but virtual platforms are still being explored. Therefore, we implemented a virtual 4-week mindfulness program for college students during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to assess feasibility and acceptability of the virtual platform. Participants (n=13) met virtually in a group with their mindfulness instructors for one hour, once a week, for four weeks. They were also encouraged to practice mindfulness independently each day for 15 minutes using audio recordings of guided meditations. Feasibility and acceptability of the virtual mindfulness program were assessed at baseline, immediately after program completion, and during a 3-month follow-up. We also explored the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on student's perception of their stress and remote learning experiences. Participants’ mindfulness levels significantly increased after the 4-week program (n=8) and remained elevated after 3 months (n=4). Participants generally reported high levels of acceptability of the program and a majority responded positively to the virtual format. This pilot program lays the foundation for future virtual mindfulness platforms that may be implemented for college students.



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