Mindfulness and Anxiety Among First Year Dental Students
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Students transitioning to the rigors of a four-year dental education program at a private midwestern university often self-identify as experiencing anxiety to a point at which their performance academically and personally is felt to be hindered. A survey designed to measure anxiety confirmed elevated anxiety levels due, in part, to the rigorous workload, desire for perfection, and fear of failure. Participation in a six-week, one-hour per week mindfulness-based course required for first year dental students introduced them to strategies and techniques aimed at stress reduction. As reported by participating students, the practice of mindfulness was effective among the majority, but anxiety levels remain high as does the demand for further reduction. Keywords: Mindfulness, dental students, anxiety, perfectionism
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