Date of Award

Spring 2021


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene


Purpose: Dental hygiene students face an exorbitant amount of stress during their educational pursuits. This has only been compounded by the added stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students may benefit from the practice of meditation in managing their stress levels during these trying times. This study analyzes the effectiveness of meditation as a stress reliever for dental hygiene students as they navigate their education during the pandemic and the effects it may have on perception of stress, academic achievement, and physical health.

Methods: Students participated in a four-week meditation study, consisting of a 30-minute guided meditation completed once weekly. Prior to participation, students completed a pre-test measuring their stress levels, the effects of stress on their physical well-being, and their academic achievement. After four-weeks of meditation, students completed a post-test identical to their pre-test, which provided quantitative data. A focus group was completed and qualitative data was gathered regarding the meditation’s effect on stress. Both qualitative and quantitative data were assessed and analyzed.

Results: Fifteen students (n = 15) completed the full study. While this study did not supply statistically significant evidence that meditation effects the well-being or academic achievement of students, it did suggest meditation decreased the amount of perceived stress students experienced (p < .01).

Conclusion: Meditation is a useful and effective tool for decreasing perceived stress experienced by dental hygiene students.