This pilot study aims to explore the effects and mechanisms of a mindfulness-based intervention on negative emotions in community settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants (N = 100) were randomized into an intervention group (n = 50) and a waitlist control group (n = 50). Participants in the mindfulness group underwent 3 weeks (21 sessions) of an online audio-based mindfulness-based intervention program and completed the online measures four times whereas those in the waitlist control group needed to complete the measures twice. Participants completed measures of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule. The results of the measures of the two groups were compared. Moderated mediation analysis was used to analyze intervention outcomes on negative affect through anxiety. Unconditional quadratic latent growth analysis was used to test the growth trajectories of anxiety. The results showed that this intervention program was effective at improving positive affect and at reducing depression, anxiety, and negative affect. The baseline anxiety moderator was found to be significant, and indirect effects of anxiety post-intervention were found between the mindfulness-based intervention and negative affect. Anxiety levels of participants were not at the same starting point and had similar but non-quadratic growth trajectories. The mindfulness-based intervention program was effective at promoting mental wellbeing and reducing mental problems in community settings in China. Mindfulness practices were beneficial to people with different anxiety levels but had more obvious benefits on anxiety and a negative affect for participants with low anxiety levels.
- Community settings
- Negative affect