Monday, 24 October 2016

Mindfulness works

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Mindfulness is trendy, but does it do any good? A recent study from Canada but Guillaunie et al. (2016) titled: 'A mixed-methods systematic review of the effects of mindfulness on nurses' and published in JAN suggests that it does. The study aimed: 'To review the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on Registered Nurses and nursing students'. The definition of mindfulness used was: 'Mindfulness can be defined as a form of mental training
through a variety of exercises that involve stilling or emptying the mind or intentionally bringing one’s attention to an inner object such as the present moment or the breath (Baer 2003, Chen et al. 2012).

Reviewing 32 studies published between 1980-2014, 17 of which were controlled designs, and applying meta-analysis they found that: 'mindfulness-based interventions may be effective in significantly reducing state anxiety and depression at posttreatment and state anxiety and trait anxiety at follow-up'. Qualitative studies were also reviewed and supported these findings. The authors conclude: 'Mindfulness training seems to be an effective strategy for organizations wishing to improve nurses’ mental health, as meta-analysis suggests positive effects on anxiety and depression'.

You can listen to this as a podcast


Baer R.A. (2003) Mindfulness training as a clinical intervention: a conceptual and empirical review. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 10(2), 125–143.

Chen K.W., Berger C.C., Manheimer E., Forde D., Magidson J., Dachman L. & Lejuez C. (2012) Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Depression and Anxiety 29(7), 545–562.

GUILLAUMIE L., BOIRAL O. & CHAMPAGNE J. (2016) A mixed-methods systematic review of the effects of mindfulness on nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing  doi: 10.1111/jan.13176

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