Hartford, Conn., January 13, 2011 — Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that early results from randomized controlled pilot studies of two stress-reduction programs showed significant reductions in stress as compared to the control group. Aetna’s review of medical claims’ data showed a positive correlation between costs and study participants’ stress levels, suggesting potential health care costs savings could be realized by reducing stress. Additionally, health improvements were suggested in the treatment groups over controls, leading to further studies.
The American Psychological Association says that 43% of US adults suffer from adverse effects of stress.
When I first led an online mindfulness course, I had my reservations as there was something wonderful about being in person with people. But I was really surprised by what I found. In the online classroom people really felt able to open up about their experience and continued to experience a qualitative improvement in not only their stress, but their sense of meaning and purpose in the work they were doing. Now with this research, we know there’s a statistically significant improvement as well.
Not everyone in the world has access to these programs and bringing it online gives them this access. What Emindful is doing is very progressive and it’s wonderful to see such a large Healthcare provider like Aetna embracing and leading the way in offering this to their clients.
Right now they say it is being offered to a “Select” group of people, but people under Aetna’s plan should start inquiring about this as soon as possible.
If Martin Luther King had a dream that inspired millions, I can say that I have a dream:
“I have a dream that one day all people will have access to programs that can support them in becoming active participants in their own health and well-being. To know the causes of their suffering and to gain access to their hearts and minds to change the cycles of destructive habitual patterns into habits of compassion and healing.”
Thank you Emindful and Aetna for getting us a step closer to this dream.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.