Associations Between State Mindfulness and Everyday Affective Experience.

Pathways to Happiness Are Multidirectional. Mindfulness is commonly defined as a multidimensional mode of being attentive to, and aware of, momentary experiences while taking a nonjudgmental and accepting stance | Emotion

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These qualities have been linked to 2 different facets of affective well-being: being attentive is proposed to lead to an appreciation of experiences as they are, and thus to positive affect (PA). Accepting unpleasant experiences in a nonjudgmental fashion has been hypothesized to reduce negative affect (NA). Alternatively, however, attention may increase both positive and negative affectivity, whereas nonjudgmental acceptance may modify how people relate to their experiences. Previous research has considered such differential associations at the trait level, although a mindful mode may be understood as a state of being.

Full reference: Blanke, E.S. et al. (2017) Pathways to Happiness Are Multidirectional: Associations Between State Mindfulness and Everyday Affective Experience. Emotion. Published online: 8 May 2017

Mindfulness-based stress reduction for breast cancer patients

A mixed method study on what patients experience as a suitable stage to participate | Supportive Care in Cancer

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Purpose: Breast cancer is associated with high levels of psychological distress. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has proven to be effective in reducing distress in cancer patients. In several studies, patients who are currently undergoing somatic anticancer treatment are excluded from participating in MBSR. Little is known about what would be the most suitable stage of disease to offer MBSR. We examined whether stage of disease facilitated and/or hindered participation in MBSR for breast cancer patients.

Conclusions: In contrast to the common practice to tailoring the timing of MBSR to physical impairments or demands of the anticancer treatment, our findings revealed that emotional readiness is equally important to take into account. These findings might support professionals in their choices whether and when to inform and refer patients to MBSR.

Full reference: Bisseling, E.M., Schellekens, M.P., Jansen, E.T. et al. (2017) Mindfulness-based stress reduction for breast cancer patients: a mixed method study on what patients experience as a suitable stage to participate. Support Care Cancer.  doi:10.1007/s00520-017-3714-8

Mindful eating can help weight loss, study shows

Eating without the distraction of work, computers or TV can help people lose weight and maintain the loss, researchers say | The Guardian Health

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Eating mindfully, choosing and savouring food away from the distractions of computers and televisions, can help people lose weight, a study has shown.

A programme in the US tells people they can eat what they want, including their favourite high-calorie, fattening foods. But they must eat it mindfully, thinking about nothing but the enjoyment of eating their food – although not necessarily eating all of it.

Mindfulness and attachment styles through mother and infant interaction

Recently, research has focused on mindfulness as a potential variable to interrupt the transmission of insecure attachment and disrupt its effect across generations. | Infant Mental Health Journal

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Thirty-six regnant female participants completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire and Relationship Questionnaire-Clinical Version at 30 weeks’ gestation. Following the infant’s birth, mothers and their babies participated in a video-recorded feeding session at 7 to 10 weeks’ postpartum. It was predicted that a secure attachment style and higher levels of mindfulness measured prenatally would be associated with greater maternal responsiveness postpartum. The hypothesis was supported for both the secure and insecure (fearful and profoundly distrustful) attachment styles. Mindfulness did not mediate the relationship between attachment and maternal distress. The mindfulness subscale Non-Reacting was significantly associated with maternal response to distress. These findings support the role of prenatal mindfulness skills and attachment security for later postnatal maternal sensitivity to baby.

Full reference: Pickard, J.A. et al. (2017) Observing the influence of mindfulness and attachment styles through mother and infant interaction: A longitudinal study Infant Mental Health Journal. DOI: 10.1002/imhj.21645

Mindfulness-based interventions with youth

Klingbeil et al (2017) present a meta-analysis of 76 explicitly mindfulness-focused youth interventions published up to December 2015

Abstract:

The treatment effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs) with youth were synthesized from 76 studies involving 6121 participants. A total of 885 effect sizes were aggregated using meta-regression with robust variance estimation.

Overall, MBIs were associated with small treatment effects in studies using pre-post (g = 0.305, SE = 0.039) and controlled designs (g = 0.322, SE = 0.040). Treatment effects were measured after a follow-up period in 24 studies (n = 1963).

Results demonstrated that treatment effects were larger at follow-up than post-treatment in pre-post (g = 0.462, SE = 0.118) and controlled designs (g = 0.402, SE = 0.081). Moderator analyses indicated that intervention setting and intervention dosage were not meaningfully related to outcomes after controlling for study design quality. With that said, the between-study heterogeneity in the intercept-only models was consistently small, thus limiting the amount of variance for the moderators to explain. A series of exploratory analyses were used to investigate the differential effectiveness of MBIs across four therapeutic process domains and seven therapeutic outcome domains.

Small, positive results were generally observed across the process and outcome domains. Notably, MBIs were associated with moderate effects on the process variable of mindfulness in controlled studies (n = 1108, g = 0.510). Limitations and directions for future research and practice are discussed.

Full reference: Klingbeil DA, et. al.   Mindfulness-based interventions with youth: A comprehensive meta-analysis of group-design studies. Journal of School Psychology Vol 63,  August 2017 p77-103.

Related: Mindfulness for young people: to meta-analyse or not to meta-analyse?

Arts-based training in observation and mindfulness for fostering the empathic response in medical residents

Zazulak, J. et al. Medical Humanities. Published online: 27 April 2017.

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Empathy is an essential attribute for medical professionals. Yet, evidence indicates that medical learners’ empathy levels decline dramatically during medical school. Training in evidence-based observation and mindfulness has the potential to bolster the acquisition and demonstration of empathic behaviours for medical learners.

In this prospective cohort study, we explore the impact of a course in arts-based visual literacy and mindfulness practice (Art of Seeing) on the empathic response of medical residents engaged in obstetrics and gynaecology and family medicine training.

The results indicated that programme participants improved in the Mindfulness Scale domains related to self-confidence and communication relative to a group of control participants following the arts-based programme. However, the majority of the psychometric measures did not reveal differences between groups over the duration of the programme. Importantly, thematic qualitative analysis of the interview data revealed that the programme had a positive impact on the participants’ perceived empathy towards colleagues and patients and on the perception of personal and professional well-being. The study concludes that a multifaceted arts-based curriculum focusing on evidence-based observation and mindfulness is a useful tool in bolstering the empathic response, improving communication, and fostering professional well-being among medical residents.

Read the full article here

Mindfulness Meditation for Pediatric Chronic Pain

Waelde, L.C. et al (2017) Children. 4, 32.

Despite advances in psychological interventions for pediatric chronic pain, there has been little research examining mindfulness meditation for these conditions. This study presents data from a pilot clinical trial of a six-week manualized mindfulness meditation intervention offered to 20 adolescents aged 13–17 years.

Mindfulness meditation shows promise as a feasible and acceptable intervention for youth with chronic pain. Future research should optimize intervention components and determine treatment efficacy

The full article is available to download here