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Investigating Attentional Bias in Health Anxiety using a Dot-Probe Task following a 10-Day Mindfulness Intervention in Undergraduates.

Reynolds, Jodie (2018) Investigating Attentional Bias in Health Anxiety using a Dot-Probe Task following a 10-Day Mindfulness Intervention in Undergraduates. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The current study investigated the effects of a 10-day mobile-based mindfulness meditation intervention on attentional bias (AB) in health anxiety in undergraduates, compared to a control group. 31 participants completed the Short Health Anxiety Inventory (SHAI) and the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) and a visual word dot-probe task. The dot-probe task explored stages of attentional processing using two types of stimuli; health-threat and neutral. Participants with high health anxiety (HHA) completed a 10-day mindfulness intervention, whereas participants with low health anxiety (LHA) completed 10-day TED talk tasks. Results demonstrate a significant difference, in that the HHA group had quicker response times to health-threat stimuli compared to neutral stimuli on the dot-probe, prior to intervention. There was a significant reduction in SHAI scores and AB towards health-threat on the dot-probe from pre- to post-intervention in the HHA group. Interestingly, no significant increase in MAAS scores from pre- to post-intervention in the HHA group were found. It was concluded that a longer mindfulness intervention may be needed to significantly increase self-report mindfulness scores. Based on these findings, future research into AB in health anxiety and mindfulness intervention may benefit from further investigating potential benefits and limitations of brief mobile-based mindfulness applications (MBMA’s)

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