Contemplative dyad meditation for Loneliness

Phase-Based Progress Estimates
1
Effectiveness
1
Safety
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Loneliness+1 More
Contemplative dyad meditation - Behavioral
Eligibility
18 - 65
All Sexes
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Study Summary

Many people are experiencing low well-being and loneliness, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world is opening back up, it is crucial to determine methods to help people grow closer again and boost subjective well-being. One promising method is contemplative dyad meditation, which has hardly been studied. This is a method in which two people have a structured dialogue with each other while contemplating a prompt, as they alternate between listening and speaking. It is related to but different from other methods that have previously been shown to increase connection, such as the "fast friends" exercise. In "fast friends", two people answer a series of increasingly personal questions in a dialogue. Here, 180 participants between 18-35 years will be randomly allocated to three conditions (stratified by gender): (a) contemplative dyad meditation training, (b) "fast friends", or (c) no-intervention. Participants in the dyad meditation group will receive professional meditation training followed by 2 weeks of regular meditation practice. Participants in the "fast friends" group will meet regularly during 2 weeks to practice "fast friends" exercises. The impact of the interventions on well-being, loneliness, mindfulness, and related measures will be investigated. After the interventions have finished, participants' physiology (heart rate) and brain waves (using electroencephalography [EEG]) during the respective exercises will also be measured to explore potential biological mechanisms. Of particular interest are heart rate variability (HRV, often linked with higher well-being), frontal alpha asymmetry in the EEG (linked with positive affect and approach), and biological synchrony in these variables between the two interacting individuals. Both dyad meditations and "fast friends" exercises are predicted to improve closeness, thriving, loneliness, affect, depression, anxiety, and social interaction anxiety compared to no-intervention. Moreover, dyad meditation is predicted to have stronger effects than "fast friends" in terms of increasing mindfulness, self-compassion, and empathy. Dyad meditation and fast friends will show differential physiological signatures (e.g., lower heart rate and higher averaged alpha power for meditation). This study may reveal effective methods to improve well-being and connection and provide insights into their biological mechanisms.

Eligible Conditions

  • Mental Health Wellness 1
  • Loneliness

Treatment Effectiveness

Effectiveness Progress

1 of 3

Study Objectives

11 Primary · 10 Secondary · Reporting Duration: 3 weeks

3 weeks
Brief Inventory of Thriving
Depression Scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9
EEG
Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 questionnaire
Heart rate
Heart rate variability
Loneliness Scores on the Comprehensive Inventory of Thriving
Mindfulness Score on the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire
Respiration
Self-Compassion Scale Short-Form
Social Interaction Anxiety Scale-6
Toronto Empathy Questionnaire
Baseline and 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Depression Scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Loneliness Scores on the Comprehensive Inventory of Thriving at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Mindfulness Score on the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Negative Affect Scores on the Negative And Positive Affect Scale at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Positive Affect Scores on the Negative And Positive Affect Scale at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Scores on the Brief Inventory of Thriving at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Scores on the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 questionnaire at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Scores on the Self-Compassion Scale Short-Form at 3 weeks
Change from Baseline Scores on the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire at 3 weeks
Directly after each individual meditation or "fast friends" exercise
Emotional synchrony
Inclusion of Other in the Self Scale
Negative Affect Scores on the Negative And Positive Affect Scale
Positive Affect Scores on the Negative And Positive Affect Scale

Trial Safety

Safety Progress

1 of 3

Trial Design

3 Treatment Groups

Fast friends
1 of 3
No intervention
1 of 3
Contemplative dyad meditation
1 of 3
Active Control
Experimental Treatment

180 Total Participants · 3 Treatment Groups

Primary Treatment: Contemplative dyad meditation · No Placebo Group · N/A

Contemplative dyad meditation
Behavioral
Experimental Group · 1 Intervention: Contemplative dyad meditation · Intervention Types: Behavioral
Fast friends
Behavioral
ActiveComparator Group · 1 Intervention: Fast friends · Intervention Types: Behavioral
No interventionNoIntervention Group · 1 Intervention: No intervention · Intervention Types:

Trial Logistics

Trial Timeline

Approximate Timeline
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: Varies
Reporting: 3 weeks
Closest Location: University of Pennsylvania · Philadelphia, PA
Photo of Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 1Photo of Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 2Photo of University of Pennsylvania 3
2011First Recorded Clinical Trial
1 TrialsResearching Loneliness
1053 CompletedClinical Trials

Who is running the clinical trial?

University of PennsylvaniaLead Sponsor
1,797 Previous Clinical Trials
36,106,382 Total Patients Enrolled
1 Trials studying Loneliness
1,382 Patients Enrolled for Loneliness
Michael L Platt, PhDPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of Pennsylvania

Eligibility Criteria

Age 18 - 65 · All Participants · 1 Total Inclusion Criteria

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About The Reviewer

Michael Gill preview

Michael Gill - B. Sc.

First Published: October 9th, 2021

Last Reviewed: August 12th, 2022

Michael Gill holds a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Mathematics from McMaster University. During his degree he devoted considerable time modeling the pharmacodynamics of promising drug candidates. Since then, he has leveraged this knowledge of the investigational new drug ecosystem to help his father navigate clinical trials for multiple myeloma, an experience which prompted him to co-found Power Life Sciences: a company that helps patients access randomized controlled trials.