Associations between Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation, and Emotional Eating among Adolescents with Overweight/Obesity

Gouveia, M. J., Canavarro, M. C., & Moreira, H.|2018|  Associations between Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation, and Emotional Eating among Adolescents with Overweight/Obesity|  Journal of Child and Family Studies| P. 1-13.

A new study explores the associations between mindfulness and self-compassion, and emotional regulation and emotional eating in adolescents.



This study explores whether the associations between mindfulness and self-compassion skills and emotional eating are mediated by difficulties in emotion regulation in adolescents with overweight/obesity, and whether the direct and indirect effects vary according to nutritional treatment and weight status. The sample included 245 adolescents (12–18 years old) with overweight (85th less than or equal to Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 97th percentile) and obesity (BMI more than or equal to 97th percentile; WHO 2006) undergoing or not nutritional treatment. Participants completed self-reported measures of mindfulness, self-compassion, difficulties in emotion regulation and emotional eating. Regardless of undergoing or not nutritional treatment and of weight status, difficulties in emotion regulation mediated the associations between mindfulness and emotional eating, and between self-compassion and emotional eating. Specifically, higher levels of mindfulness and self-compassion skills were associated with less difficulties in emotion regulation, which, in turn, were associated with less emotional eating. Moreover, whereas mindfulness skills were directly associated with emotional eating, self-compassion was only indirectly associated with emotional eating, suggesting that self-compassion skills are related to emotional eating only because these skills enable more adaptive emotion regulation. Mindfulness and self-compassion may help adolescents with overweight/obesity develop more adaptive responses to emotional distress, which consequently may help them develop healthier eating behaviors. Future research should be developed on the adequacy of mindfulness and compassion-based approaches for adolescents with overweight/obesity.

This article is available to Rotherham NHS staff  and can be requested here 


Dispositional Mindfulness and Psychological Health: a Systematic Review

Tomlinson, E. R., Yousaf, O., Vittersø, A. D., & Jones, L. |2017| Dispositional mindfulness and psychological health: a systematic review|  Mindfulness|  1-21.

A systematic review focused on dispositional mindfulness (DM) and psychological health. The SR which led to the emergence of  three themes which depict the relationship between  DM and psychological health:

  1. DM appears to be inversely related to psychopathological symptoms
    such as depressive symptoms:
  2.  DM is positively linked to adaptive cognitive processes such as less rumination and pain catastrophizing;
  3. DM appears to be associated with better emotional processing and regulation. These themes informed the creation of a taxonomy

The SR has now been published in the journal Mindfulness 


Interest in the influence of dispositional mindfulness (DM) on psychological health has been gathering pace over recent years. Despite this, a systematic review of this topic has not been conducted. A systematic review can benefit the field by identifying the terminology and measures used by researchers and by highlighting methodological weaknesses and empirical gaps. We systematically reviewed non-interventional, quantitative papers on DM and psychological health in non-clinical samples published in English up to June 2016, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A literature search was conducted using PsycINFO, PubMED, Medline and Embase, and 93 papers met the inclusion criteria. Within these, three main themes emerged, depicting the relationship between DM and psychological health: (1) DM appears to be inversely related to psychopathological symptoms such as depressive symptoms, (2) DM is positively linked to adaptive cognitive processes such as less rumination and pain catastrophizing and (3) DM appears to be associated with better emotional processing and regulation. These themes informed the creation of a taxonomy. We conclude that research has consistently shown a positive relationship between DM and psychological health. Suggestions for future research and conceptual and methodological limitations within the field are discussed.

This systematic review  can be read in full from Springer 

Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress at Work: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Chin, B., Slutsky, J., Raye, J., & Creswell, J. D. |2018|Mindfulness Training Reduces Stress at Work: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness|1-12|

The journal Mindfulness has published the results of a new randomised controlled trial (RCT). The trial finds that mindfulness based training can reduce momentary stress at work but acknowledges more intensive and lengthier programmes may be required to improve wellbeing outcomes. 



Mindfulness-based interventions have been suggested as one way to improve employee well-being in the workplace. Despite these purported benefits, there have been few well-controlled randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating mindfulness training in the workplace. Here, we conducted a two-arm RCT at work among employees of a digital marketing firm comparing the efficacy of a high-dose 6-week mindfulness training to a low-dose single-day mindfulness training for improving multiple measures of employee well-being assessed using ecological momentary assessment. High-dose mindfulness training reduced both perceived and momentary stress, and buffered employees against worsened affect and decreased coping efficacy compared to low-dose mindfulness training. These results provide well-controlled evidence that mindfulness training programs can reduce momentary stress at work, suggesting that more intensive mindfulness training doses (i.e., 6 weeks) may be necessary for improving workplace well-being outcomes. This RCT utilizes a novel experience sampling approach to measure the effects of a mindfulness intervention on employee well-being and considers potential dose-response effects of mindfulness training at work.


Rotherham NHS staff can request this article here 

Physician burnout: contributors, consequences and solutions

West, C. P., Dyrbye, L. N., & Shanafelt, T. D. (2018). Physician burnout: contributors, consequences and solutions. Journal of internal medicine283(6), 516-529.



Physician burnout, a work‐related syndrome involving emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment, is prevalent internationally. Rates of burnout symptoms that have been associated with adverse effects on patients, the healthcare workforce, costs and physician health exceed 50% in studies of both physicians‐in‐training and practicing physicians. This problem represents a public health crisis with negative impacts on individual physicians, patients and healthcare organizations and systems. Drivers of this epidemic are largely rooted within healthcare organizations and systems and include excessive workloads, inefficient work processes, clerical burdens, work–home conflicts, lack of input or control for physicians with respect to issues affecting their work lives, organizational support structures and leadership culture. Individual physician‐level factors also play a role, with higher rates of burnout commonly reported in female and younger physicians. Effective solutions align with these drivers. For example, organizational efforts such as locally developed practice modifications and increased support for clinical work have demonstrated benefits in reducing burnout. Individually focused solutions such as mindfulness‐based stress reduction and small‐group programmes to promote community, connectedness and meaning have also been shown to be effective. Regardless of the specific approach taken, the problem of physician burnout is best addressed when viewed as a shared responsibility of both healthcare systems and individual physicians. Although our understanding of physician burnout has advanced considerably in recent years, many gaps in our knowledge remain. Longitudinal studies of burnout’s effects and the impact of interventions on both burnout and its effects are needed, as are studies of effective solutions implemented in combination. For medicine to fulfil its mission for patients and for public health, all stakeholders in healthcare delivery must work together to develop and implement effective remedies for physician burnout.

Rotherham NHS staff can request this article here 


Dispositional mindfulness can enhance patient resilence

Tomlinson, E. R., Yousaf, O., Vittersø, A. D., & Jones, L.  |2018 |Dispositional mindfulness and psychological health: a systematic review | Mindfulness | P. 1-21 |Doi:
Although mindfulness has gained more prominence in recent times as interest in it as a practice has steadily grown, systematic reviews in this area are scarce. As such the researchers of this study systematically reviewed the literature on dispositional mindfulness (DM) and psychological non-interventional, quantitative papers in English up to June 2016.  They folllowed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. After conducting a literature search on PSYCinfo, PUBmed, Medline and Embase they found 93 papers that met the inclusion criteria.


From this review three major themes emerged:

  1. DM appears to be inversely related to psychopathological symptoms such as depressive symptoms;
  2. DM is associated with adaptive strategies and less rumination;
  3. It is also associated with more sophisticated emotional processing and regulation.
 For the researchers  DM can enhance patient resilience and act as a buffer against the development of negative thinking patterns that predict psychological ill health. They surmise that while the research in this area has consistently shown a positive relationship between DM and psychological health.  However, as a result of limitations in  this field, for instance the use of inconsistent terminology and a research sample of
predominantly white males, such barriers should be overcome in future research in order to advance what is known in this area.
The full article is available through Springer 

School-based mindfulness programs

Perhaps teenagers are too cynical to benefit from mindfulness, say authors of latest school trial


In the UK, more and more children are learning mindfulness at school. The Mindfulness in Schools project claims that over 4000 of our teachers are now trained in the practice. However, some experts are concerned that the roll-out of mindfulness has raced ahead of the evidence base, which paints a mixed picture.

A research team led by Catherine Johnson at Flinders University has now reported in Behaviour Research and Therapy the results of their latest school trial, which included new features in the mindfulness intervention, such as parental involvement and better designed homework materials, intended to maximise the programme’s effectiveness. However, once again the mindfulness programme led to no observable benefits.

Full story via The British Psychological Society

Link to Journal abstract: Johnson, C et al.  A randomized controlled evaluation of a secondary school mindfulness program for early adolescents: Do we have the recipe right yet?  Behaviour Research and Therapy | Volume 99, December 2017 |  Pages 37-46

How Is Stress Reduced by a Workplace Mindfulness Intervention?

Mindfulness-based interventions are effective as curative and preventative approaches to psychological health. However, the mechanisms by which outcomes are secured from such interventions when delivered in the workplace, and to a stressed workforce, are not well understood | Mindfulness

Image source: ringo.coco – Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The aim of the present study was to elicit and analyse accounts from past participants of a workplace mindfulness intervention in order to generate a preliminary model of how positive benefits appear to be secured.

In-depth, semi-structured interviews were completed with 21 employees of a higher education institution who had completed an eight-week intervention based on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, adapted for the workplace. Interviews invited participants to recount their experiences of the intervention and its impact, if any, on their work life. Aspects of the interview data that pertained to intervention experience and positive benefits were analysed using a version of grounded theory, leading to the generation of a provisional model of how positive change occurred.

The model suggests that discrete, temporal experiences build on each other to generate multiple, positive benefits. As anticipated in mindfulness-based interventions, enhanced attentional capacity was important, but our provisional model also suggests that resonance, self-care, detection of stress markers, perceiving choice, recovering self-agency and upward spiralling may be central mechanisms that lead to positive outcomes. Understanding mechanisms of change may help support participant engagement and trust in work-based mindfulness programmes, and enhance participants’ ability to apply mindfulness in their work life.

Full reference: Hugh-Jones, S. et al. (2017) How Is Stress Reduced by a Workplace Mindfulness Intervention? A Qualitative Study Conceptualising Experiences of Change. Mindfulness. Published Online: 2 September 2017