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Impact of Virtual Heartfulness Meditation Program on Stress, Quality of Sleep, and Psychological Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Method Study

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA
2
Food Nutrition and Health Agricultural Research Development Program, Central State University, Wilberforce, OH 45384, USA
3
Department of Surgery, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111114
Received: 17 September 2021 / Revised: 19 October 2021 / Accepted: 21 October 2021 / Published: 22 October 2021
Stress and lack of quality sleep affect a large portion of the population around the globe, and the COVID-19 pandemic has genuinely brought attention to these problems. This study aimed to investigate whether using a virtual heart-based meditation program is associated with improved stress levels and quality of sleep among participants from the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recruited 63 participants to receive an 8-week virtually conducted Heartfulness meditation program in a prospective pre–post single-arm intervention study from September 28 to November 22 2020. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores were collected at baseline, at 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. Of the 63 participants enrolled in the study, 36 (57%) completed an 8-week Heartfulness meditation program. There was a significant decrease in PSS (mean difference of 6.68 with 95% C.I. 4.89–8.47, p < 0.0001) and in PSQI (mean difference of 2.05 with 95% C.I. 1.03–3.07, p < 0.0001) between week zero and week eight, regardless of Health Care Professional status. The qualitative thematic analysis strongly supported the survey results. A significant reduction in perceived stress score and improvement in sleep quality index was noted at the end of a virtual Heartfulness meditation program. Moreover, Heartfulness meditation practice may help cultivate the quality of empathy, acceptance, and individual peace. We conclude that the effects of virtually accessible Heartfulness meditation practice need to be explored further in larger studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: Heartfulness meditation; stress; sleep; pandemic; psychological wellbeing; COVID-19 Heartfulness meditation; stress; sleep; pandemic; psychological wellbeing; COVID-19
MDPI and ACS Style

Desai, K.; Gupta, P.; Parikh, P.; Desai, A. Impact of Virtual Heartfulness Meditation Program on Stress, Quality of Sleep, and Psychological Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Method Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 11114. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111114

AMA Style

Desai K, Gupta P, Parikh P, Desai A. Impact of Virtual Heartfulness Meditation Program on Stress, Quality of Sleep, and Psychological Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Method Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(21):11114. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111114

Chicago/Turabian Style

Desai, Kunal, Pratibha Gupta, Priti Parikh, and Alpa Desai. 2021. "Impact of Virtual Heartfulness Meditation Program on Stress, Quality of Sleep, and Psychological Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Method Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 21: 11114. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111114

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