The research recruited more than 200 participants with clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder. Half were randomized to an eight-week course of the antidepressant escitalopram, while the other half completed an eight-week MBSR program.
The MBSR program comprised weekly guided mediation classes, daily 45-minute home exercises, and one day-long class halfway through the course. At the end of the eight-week trial each participant’s anxiety levels were assessed by a trained clinician who was unaware which intervention the patient had received.
Overall, both groups showed a decrease in anxiety measures of around 30% by the end of the eight-week intervention.