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Cleveland Clinic research shows Internet-based program effective in reducing stress
Date:4/29/2013

EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. ET, Tuesday, April 30, 2013, Cleveland: The use of Internet-based stress management programs (ISM) effectively reduce stress for a sustainable period, according to a Cleveland Clinic study published recently in Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Online stress management programs aim to increase accessibility for individuals affected by chronic stress at a lesser cost than traditional methods. Data suggests that stress reduction using ISM is comparable to face-to-face stress management.

Three-hundred study participants completed an eight-week ISM program where they received online relaxation practice materials, strategies to help cope with life's stressors, stress assessments at the beginning and end of the program, and daily topics to inspire participants to continue the meditation and relaxation techniques.

Program participants, who were compared with a control group, showed a significant decrease in perceived stress from high levels to average, as well as greatly improved emotional wellbeing, compared with the pre-program results and to participants of the control group. Results confirmed a positive correlation between the number of meditations completed per week and perceived stress reduction.

"Our recent findings provide individuals and employers with a new option to consider for themselves or their employees' stress management," said Michael Roizen, MD, Chief Wellness Officer at Cleveland Clinic. "Unmanaged stress causes some of the highest healthcare costs for employers and has a lasting impact on everyone; this study implies such health effect may be readily reduced."

Using Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to measure a person's perception of stress, individual results were based on a 0 (best) to 40 scale. Study participants' stress levels prior to ISM averaged 23.05, much higher than the U.S. norm, 13.7 for females and 12.1 for males. Relative to a control group, active partic
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Contact: Bridget Peterlin
peterlb@ccf.org
216-444-5703
Cleveland Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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