Psychologie a její kontexty, Vol.7, No.2

Prožívaná životní smysluplnost, všímavost a sebehodnocení v kontextu omezené zevní stimulace

Existential meaning in life, mindfulness and self-esteem in the context of restricted environmental stimulation

Marek Malůš, Martin Kupka, Daniel Dostál

The aim of the study was to assess the influence of the overall context of a modified version of chamber restricted environmental stimulation (chamber REST; in a variation also known as “Darkness Therapy” - „DT“) on the meaning in life, mindfulness and self-esteem. The research sample consisted of 37 clients of the Beskydy Rehabilitation Centre in Čeladná who, based on their own decision, underwent a week-long stay under chamber REST conditions, between 15th March, 2012 and 14th November, 2013. The age ranged between 25 and 84 (M = 45.86; SD = 13.16). The sample consisted of 17 women and 20 men. The youngest woman was 25 years old and the oldest one was 71 years old. The youngest man was 25 years old and the oldest man was 84 years old. The respondents were selected by purposive voluntary sampling. Considering the education, 14 subjects completed secondary-school education, 23 of them completed university education. Considering the occupation, 3 respondents were retired, the remaining 34 were employed. All subjects, who participated in the research voluntarily and at their own expense, underwent technically the same process. It was a seven-day stay in a REST environment (absolute darkness, quiet and solitude). The participants stated and confirmed by their signature that they did not show any psychopathological reactions at that time, they did not take any psychopharmaceutical drugs and did not experience any significant physical ailments (acute illness, bleeding etc.) and they entered the experimental environment voluntarily. During the week the participants/clients were daily visited by a therapist with whom they could talk about any current issues. The duration of the interviews depended on their current needs, thirty to forty-five minutes on average. A week before the DT stay, each of the subjects filled in the following diagnostic questionnaires: Existence Scale (ES), Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). Three weeks after they completed the procedure they received the same measures again. The data obtained were evaluated by the SPSS software. Normal distribution of data was verified by Shapiro-Wilk test. The effect of the experimental conditions was assessed by a pairedsample t-test or Wilcoxon paired-sample test. The distortion emerging as a result of multiple testing was eliminated by Bonferroni correction. Comparing the values measured prior to and after the stay in the researched modification of chamber REST environment (DT), we found a significant difference on all scales. Most of them remained significant even after applying the Bonferroni correction. Therefore, we concluded that the overall framework of the effect of the researched modification of chamber restricted environmental stimulation applied for a week has a positive influence on the respondents regarding the meaning in life (evaluated by ES), mindfulness (measured by FFMQ) and self-esteem (measured by RSES). No statistically significant differences were found as a function of gender or educational level.

restricted environmental stimulation, chamber REST, darkness therapy, existential meaning in life, mindfulness, self-esteem