The coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic has increased psychological distress among the general population. The objective of this study is to evaluate a mindfulness-based intervention for psychological distress among Chinese residents during COVID-19.
This study used a switching replications design to test the feasibility and efficacy of a brief online mindfulness-based intervention for Chinese residents’ psychological distress. Fifty-one residents in the Hubei province were randomly allocated to two groups (experimental group and waitlist control group) with three waves of measurement at time 1, time 2, and time 3 for changes in mindfulness and psychological distress.
In addition to significant within-group improvements over time for both groups, OLS linear regression with full information likelihood estimation revealed statistically significant between-group treatment effects across outcome domains, including mindfulness awareness, b = 2.84, p < 0.001, g = 6.92, psychological distress, b = −21.33, p < 0.001, g = 6.62, somatic symptoms, b = −6.22, p < 0.001, g = 4.42, depressive symptoms, b = −7.16, p < 0.001, g = 5.07, and anxiety symptoms, b = −8.09, p < 0.001, g = 6.84.
Results suggest that a brief online mindfulness-based intervention can be a feasible and promising intervention for improving mindfulness and decreasing psychological distress among Chinese residents staying at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The study used a small convenience sample which led to a concern of external generalizability and with limited evaluation of long-term change.