A curriculum for wellbeing

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The Department for Education has announced that schools will be trialling several mental health promotion programmes in schools, including mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and programmes teaching children about how to maintain good mental health. 

The announcement follows the Prime Minister’s pledge to prioritise mental health. And it recognises the evidence of the critical role of schools and the high proportion of mental health problems that begin in childhood.

Read more at Centre for Mental Health

Full paper:
Children and young people’s mental health research and evaluation programme

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Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for anxiety symptoms in older adults in residential care

Edward Helmes and Bradley G. Ward. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for anxiety symptoms in older adults in residential care  Aging & Mental Health Vol. 21 , Iss. 3,2017

Objectives: Anxiety in older people is under-diagnosed and poorly treated despite significant impairments that arise from anxiety. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has been shown to be a promising treatment for anxiety. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of an MBCT program on anxiety symptoms in older people living in residential care.

Method: Fifty-two participants (34 females) were randomly allocated into therapy and control groups using a 2 × 3 mixed design. The average age of participants was 83 years.

Results: The group effect showed significant improvements on all measures at the end of the seven-week program in the therapy group, while the control group did not show significant changes.

Conclusion: This study represents one of the first studies of the effectiveness of an MBCT program on anxiety symptoms for older people using a randomized controlled trial. The study has implications for future research that include the effectiveness of MBCT for the treatment of anxiety symptoms in older people, the utility of group therapy programs in residential care and the benefits of using specialized instruments for older populations.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction for young adults with social anxiety disorder

Hjeltnes, A. et al. (2017) Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. 58(1) pp. 80–90

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The present study investigated mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for young adults with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) in an open trial.

Participants reported significant reductions in SAD symptoms and global psychological distress, as well as increases in mindfulness, self-compassion, and self-esteem.

MBSR may be a beneficial intervention for young adults in higher education with SAD, and there is a need for more research on mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions for SAD.

Read the full article here

Mindfulness-based interventions for adults who are overweight or obese

Rodgers, J.M. et al. (2017) Obesity Reviews. 18(1). pp. 51–67

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Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on psychological and physical health outcomes in adults who are overweight or obese.

Conclusions: Mindfulness-based interventions may be both physically and psychologically beneficial for adults who are overweight or obese, but further high-quality research examining the mechanisms of action are encouraged.

Read the full article here

Effects of preventive online mindfulness interventions on stress and mindfulness

Jayewardene, W.P. et al. (2017) Preventive Medicine Reports. 5. pp. 150- 159

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Empirical evidence suggested that mind-body interventions can be effectively delivered online. This study aimed to examine whether preventive online mindfulness interventions (POMI) for non-clinical populations improve short- and long-term outcomes for perceived-stress (primary) and mindfulness (secondary).

Read the full article here

Phone-delivered mindfulness training to promote medication adherence

Salmoirago-Blotchera, E. et al. (2017) Contemporary Clinical Trials. 53. pp. 162–170

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Introduction: Two-thirds of people living with HIV (PLWH) show sub-optimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and one-third engages in risky sex. Both non-adherence and risky sex have been associated with emotional distress and impulsivity. To allay distress and lessen impulsivity, mindfulness training (MT) can be helpful. In this trial, we will investigate the utility of phone-delivered MT for PWLH. The primary outcomes comprise feasibility and acceptability of phone-delivery; secondary outcomes are estimates of efficacy of MT on adherence to ART and safer sexual practices as well as on their hypothesized antecedents.

Conclusions: MT has great potential to help PLWH to manage stress, depressive symptoms, and impulsivity. Positive changes in these antecedents are expected to improve safer sex practices and ART adherence. If results from this exploratory trial support our hypotheses, we will conduct a large RCT to test (a) the efficacy of MT on ART adherence and safer sex practices and (b) the hypothesis that improved ART adherence and safer sex will reduce viral load, and decrease the incidence of sexually transmitted infections, respectively.

Read the full abstract here