Mind-Body Therapies for COVID Related Stress – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Mind-Body Therapies for COVID Related Stress

Zoya Qayyum


Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Jung Park, Clinical Subjects Coordinator
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychiatry, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 5 (3pm-3:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 8
Presenter: 5

Event Link


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global mental health crisis. Studies in the US in December 2020 revealed that more than 42% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to 11% the year prior1. Long-term effects of the pandemic’s physical and emotional stressors are unknown. Our study is a randomized control trial that examines the efficacy of remotely-administered mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in improving mood symptoms and resilience among communities of color most impacted by COVID. Our study population includes Michigan residents who self-report pandemic-related stress and anxiety and live in zip codes with high rates of COVID infection and a significant non-White population. Participants are initially screened with a telephone-based questionnaire. Eligible participants undergo a clinical interview and complete validated assessments to determine their baseline mental health status. Participants with poorly controlled active mania, psychosis, and substance dependence were excluded from the study. Once recruited, participants were randomized into MBCT (intervention arm) or Progressive Muscle Relaxation (control). Participants undergo 8 weeks of either therapy and are clinically assessed at the conclusion of the study. Because the study is ongoing, there is insufficient data to analyze results. We hope that MBCT will prove to be a non-inferior intervention compared to PMR, a well-established therapy. Our overarching goals for this study are to 1) assess the efficacy of mindful based interventions (MBIs) among communities of color that were disproportionately affected by the pandemic and 2) refine MBIs to provide culturally-relevant and cost-effective care. This study is valuable and timely as it addresses health disparities and the potentially vast mental health consequences of the pandemic. 1.Abbott A. (2021). COVID’s mental-health toll: how scientists are tracking a surge in depression. Nature, 590(7845), 194-195. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00175-z

Authors: Zoya Qayyum, Nikki Senapati, MD, Anthony King, PhD
Research Method: Clinical Research
Lab website: https://sites.google.com/umich.edu/mindfulness-lab/people?authuser=0

lsa logoum logo