University of Oulu

Lassander, M., Hintsanen, M., Suominen, S. et al. Effects of school-based mindfulness intervention on health-related quality of life: moderating effect of gender, grade, and independent practice in cluster randomized controlled trial. Qual Life Res 30, 3407–3419 (2021).

Effects of school‑based mindfulness intervention on health‑related quality of life : moderating efect of gender, grade, and independent practice in cluster randomized controlled trial

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Author: Lassander, Maarit1; Hintsanen, Mirka2; Suominen, Sakari3,4;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki, Parrulaituri 16 D 62, 00540, Helsinki, Finland
2Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Public Health, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden
4Department of Public Health, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
5Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
6Teachers College, National Center for Children and Families (NCCF), Columbia University, New York, NY, USA
7Department of Biostatistics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
8Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland
9Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-31


Object: We investigated the impact of a school-based 9-week mindfulness program vs. active control program (relaxation) and inactive control group on children’s self-reported Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) moderated by gender, grade, and independent practice.

Method: In total 3519 (50/50% boys/girls) Finnish students aged 12–15 years from 56 schools were randomized into mindfulness intervention, active, and inactive control groups. HRQoL was measured at baseline, at 9 weeks, and at 26 weeks and analyzed with multilevel linear modeling.

Results: Significant improvement on HRQoL was found (β = mean difference) (β  = 1.587, 95% CI 0.672–2.502, p  < 0.001) after 9 weeks and at 26 weeks of follow-up among students in the mindfulness group as compared to the active control group. Moderating effects on HRQoL were found for gender, grade, and independent practice: girls, 7th and 8th grade students, and students with regular independent mindfulness practice benefited most.

Conclusions: Gender and developmental stage may moderate the effects of mindfulness interventions on HRQoL and offer guidance in designing effective promotive interventions for children and adolescents.

Trial Registration Information: Healthy Learning Mind—a school-based mindfulness and relaxation program: a study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) ISRCTN18642659 retrospectively registered on 13 October 2015. The full trial protocol can be accessed at

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Series: Quality of life research
ISSN: 0962-9343
ISSN-E: 1573-2649
ISSN-L: 0962-9343
Volume: 30
Issue: 12
Pages: 3407 - 3419
DOI: 10.1007/s11136-021-02868-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Helsinki including Helsinki University Central Hospital. This study was funded by Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation and Alfred Kordelin Foundation (Grant No. 150307). The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit