Pre-retirement Employees Experience Lasting Improvements in Resilience and Well-Being After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

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The socio-economic benefits of interventions to prevent stress and related mental health problems are enormous. In the labor market, it is becoming desirable to keep employees for as long as possible. Since aging implies additional stressors such as increased risk of illness, and added pressure by professional tasks such as transferring knowledge, or learning new technologies, it is of particular relevance to offer stress-reduction to pre-retirement employees. Here, we report the effects of an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention on mental well-being in 60–65-year-old work-active Danish employees, compared to a waiting-list control group. We observed improvements in resilience (Brief Resilience Scale) and mental well-being (WHO-5) not only at the end of the intervention, but also at the 12-month follow-up measurement that was preceded by monthly booster sessions. Interestingly, whereas well-being usually refers to experiences in the past weeks or months, we observed increasing Comfort in the MBSR-intervention group during a 5-minute eyes-closed rest session suggesting that this therapeutic effect of MBSR is measurable in how we feel even during short periods of time. We argue that MBSR is a cost-effective intervention suited for pre-retirement employees to cultivate resilience to prevent stress, feel more comfortable with themselves, maintain a healthy work-life in the last years before retirement, and, potentially, stay in their work-life a few more years than originally planned.

TidsskriftFrontiers in Psychology
StatusUdgivet - 15 jul. 2021

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© Copyright © 2021 Diachenko, Smith, Fjorback, Hansen, Linkenkaer-Hansen and Pallesen.

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