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17-01-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 7/2019 Open Access

Mindfulness 7/2019

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Awareness Training Program (ATP), a Group-Based Mahayana Buddhist Intervention

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 7/2019
Auteurs:
Bonnie Wai Yan Wu, Junling Gao, Hang Kin Leung, Hin Hung Sik
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Abstract

Objectives

This study evaluated the effectiveness of a Mahayana Buddhist teaching- and group-based intervention, the Awareness Training Program (ATP), which is textually aligned to a Mahayana Sūtra so that its theory and practice are coherent. The ATP aims to alleviate stress by enhancing participant’s compassion and wisdom of nonattachment.

Methods

Middle-aged working adults (n = 122) in Hong Kong participated in this randomized waiting-list controlled trial. Self-reported psychological questionnaires were used to assess the participants’ level of stress (PSS), sense of coherence (SOC), psychological well-being (GHQ), and nonattachment (NAS) at pretest, posttest, and 3 months later.

Results

The data showed significant improvements in the intervention group over the controls for all outcome measures at posttest and 3 months later (post and post-3 PSS: ηp 2 = .15 and .16; post and post-3 SOC: ηp 2 = .05 and .10; post and post-3 GHQ: ηp 2 = .16 and .13; post and post-3 NAS: ηp 2 = .17 and .14). A mediation analysis demonstrated that nonattachment mediated both the treatment and the maintenance effects for all outcome variables (post and post-3 PSS: indirect effect ab = − 1.50 and − 1.70; post and post-3 SOC: ab = 2.48 and 3.61; post and post-3 GHQ: ab = − 1.65 and − 1.56; bootstrap 95% confidence interval (CI), CI does not include zero).

Conclusions

The ATP may effectively reduce stress and improve a sense of coherence and psychological well-being by enhancing participants’ wisdom of nonattachment. This study provides promising evidence that the ATP could be an effective intervention for middle-aged working adults.

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