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Published Online: 13 January 2015

Does a Meditation Protocol Supported by a Mobile Application Help People Reduce Stress? Suggestions from a Controlled Pragmatic Trial

Publication: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume 18, Issue Number 1


The aim of this study was to examine the efficacy of a 3 week mindfulness inspired protocol, delivered by an Android application for smartphones, in reducing stress in the adult population. By using a controlled pragmatic trial, a self-help intervention group of meditators was compared with a typical control group listening to relaxing music and a waiting list group. The final sample included 56 Italian workers as participants, block randomized to the three conditions. The self-reported level of perceived stress was assessed at the beginning and at the end of the protocol. Participants were also instructed to track their heart rate before and after each session. The results did not show any significant differences between groups, but both self-help intervention groups demonstrated an improvement in coping with stress. Nevertheless, meditators and music listeners reported a significant decrease in average heartbeats per minute after each session. Furthermore, both groups perceived a moderate but significant change in stress reduction perceptions, even if with some peculiarities. Limitations and opportunities related to the meditation protocol supported by the mobile application to reduce stress are discussed.

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Published In

cover image Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Volume 18Issue Number 1January 2015
Pages: 46 - 53
PubMed: 25584730


Published online: 13 January 2015
Published in print: January 2015


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Claudia Carissoli, MS
Psychology Department, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Daniela Villani, PhD
Psychology Department, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Giuseppe Riva, PhD
Psychology Department, Catholic University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy.


Address correspondence to:Dr. Daniela VillaniPsychology DepartmentCatholic University of MilanLargo A. Gemelli 120123 MilanItaly
E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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