Background: Evidence to support a corporate mindfulness program is limited to a small number of studies focusing primarily on employees with compromised wellbeing and/or under high stress levels. The primary aim of this study was to, in a corporate setting, compare the impact of a mindfulness program between employees with compromised and preserved wellbeing.
Methods: We conducted in-person and online 8-week adapted Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs among all-comers and compared the impacts on the compromised wellbeing group (CWG), as defined by Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) scores in the Profile of Mood States 2, equal to or higher than the Japanese national mean of 50 and Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores in the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey second version, lower than the national mean, and on the preserved wellbeing group (PWG), as defined by either TMD scores lower than 50 or MCS scores equal to or higher than 50.
Results: Thirty-six employees completed the pre- and post-assessment. The CWG, accounting for 17 of 36 (47.2%), had significantly higher TMD [Mean±SD (95% confidence interval): 60.6±10.3 (55.3 - 65.9)] and lower MCS [40.6±5.5 (37.8 - 43.5)] scores than the national mean as expected and attended class more frequently than the PWG (6.1±1.6 times vs. 4.6±2.3, respectively, p < 0.05), while the PWG had significantly lower TMD [45.7±4.5 (43.5 - 47.9)] and higher MCS [52.8±6.5 (49.6 - 55.9)] scores than the national mean. Both the CWG and PWG showed significant similar within group improvements after the program in Perceived Stress Scale (PSS: 32.4±8.8 to 25.6±9.7, p< 0.05, Cohen’s d= -0.69 and 23.2±4.5 to 21.2±5.2, p < 0.01, d = -0.78, respectively) and TMD (60.6±10.3 to 51.4±11.9, p < 0.05, d = -0.69 and 45.7±4.5 to 42.9±4.4, p < 0.01, d = -0.70) scores while only the CWG showed an improved MCS score. Changes from the baseline between the groups were significant only in MCS scores.
Conclusions: The current study suggests that adapted MBSR may be beneficial for corporate employees with preserved wellbeing, providing corporate planners with the evidence required to expand corporate mindfulness programs to a larger employee population.