Date of Award

Summer 7-16-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Felver, Joshua C.

Subject Categories

Medicine and Health Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology


Mindfulness-based practices (MBP) have risen in popularity in research especially as an applied practice to buffer against the deleterious effects of stress and reduce psychopathology (Brown et al., 2012; Khoury et al., 2015). There are significant health problems implicated with stress and psychopathology and as such interventions, such as MBP, are frequently the topic of research to reduce stress and improve health and well-being (Juster et al., 2010; Goldberg et al., 2018). The body scan is an intervention component of MBP that involves a systematic allocation of attention through the somatic sensations of different parts of the body. Body scans are a very common MBP that are found in virtually every multi-component MBP curriculum. However, research summarizing the unique effects of the body scan as a stand-alone MBP to mitigate stress and psychopathology has not yet been studied. Examining the isolated effect of the body scan adds to the MBP literature base by parsing and characterizing the component elements of a MBP practice (i.e., the body scan) which has been indicated as a research direction that may further inform future research and provide clinical applications (Cook-Cottone, 2015). Consequently, the purpose of this narrative systematic review was to characterize the body scan practice as a stand-alone practice to reduce stress and psychopathology, relate this outcome literature to existing MBP research, and provide recommendations for future research and clinical work. This narrative systematic review was the first of its kind to respond to this gap in the literature by examining the body scan as a standalone practice outside of multicomponent mindfulness programs.


Open Access