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Impact of mindfulness training on physiological measures of stress and objective measures of attention control in a military helicopter unit

Tidsskriftartikel - 2017

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Objective: This study sought to determine if mindfulness training (MT) has a measurable impact on stress and attentional control as measured by objective physiological and psychological means.Background: Periods of persistent, intensive work demands are known to compromise recovery and attentional capacity. The effects of 4-month MT on salivary cortisol and performance on 2 computer-based cognitive tasks were tested on a military helicopter unit exposed to a prolonged period of high workload.Methods: MT participants were compared to a wait list control group on levels of saliva cortisol and performance on a go-no go test and a test of stimulus-driven attentional capture. Participants also reported mental demands on the go-no go test, time of wakeup, sleep duration, quality of sleep, outcome expectancies, physical activity level, self-perceived mindfulness, and symptoms of depression and anxiety.Results: The results from a mixed between-within analysis revealed that the MT participants compared to the control group had a larger pre to post increase in high- and low-cortisol slopes, and decrease in perceived mental demand imposed by the go-no go test.Conclusion: MT alleviates some of the physiological stress response and the subjective mental demands of challenging tasks in a military helicopter unit during a period of high workload.

Reference

Meland A, Ishimatsu K, Pensgaard A, Wagstaff A, Fonne V, Garde AH, Harris A. Impact of mindfulness training on physiological measures of stress and objective measures of attention control in a military helicopter unit. The International Journal of Aviation Psychology 2017;25(3-4):191-208.
doi: 10.1080/10508414.2015.1162639

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