Testing the effectiveness of a brief mindfulness intervention for intensive internet users

  • C. Quinones


Background: While highly effective, Mindfulness Based Interventions are often time-consuming, hence not suitable for long hour workers who engage intensively with the internet as a leisure activity. Although some brief and online alternatives have emerged, they either have methodological limitations, or are targeted specifically at stress and relapse in addictions. The aim of this study was to test the effectiveness of a brief mindfulness intervention (10 minutes/day during 10 days) aimed at reducing initial signs of Compulsive Internet Use (CIU) in individuals who work long hours. Design: A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was conducted following CONSORT guidelines. A total of 178 participants were randomly allocated to either the mindfulness intervention, the muscular relaxation group and the control group. ANCOVA analysis were carried, pre-intervention variables were entered as control and the intervention group as a factor. The key dependent variables were post-intervention CIU scores (Meerkerk et al., 2010) and the 5 facet mindfulness questionnaire scores (Bohlmeijer, et al. 2011). Findings: The mindfulness group experienced a significant decrease on internet addiction scores and increased on two mindfulness sub-scales (observation and non-reaction). Hence, the brief mindfulness intervention seemed to have been effective to reduce the early signs of CIU. Discussion: Current mindfulness interventions are often costly and rather time demanding, hence only those who are highly motivated can benefit from it. These findings suggest that a very small investment of time can really make a difference in relation to our wellbeing.
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