McGeechan, G. J. et al. | Qualitative exploration of a targeted school‐based mindfulness course in England | Child and Adolescent Mental Health | published 27 June 2018
Mindfulness‐based training has been shown to provide benefits for adults with numerous conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, and depression. However, less is known about its impact for young people. Early adolescence (typically 10–14 years) is a time fraught with challenges such as cognitive changes, social, and academic pressures in the form of exams, all of which can provoke anxiety. While there is a lack of effectiveness studies, there is growing interest in the potential for school‐based mindfulness programmes to help young people cope with the pressures of modern life.
This study outlines a qualitative exploration of a school‐based targeted mindfulness course. We interviewed 16 young people who had taken part in a 10‐week mindfulness course, and held a focus group with three members of teaching staff who delivered the programme. Interviews and focus groups were analysed using applied thematic analysis.
While young people felt that they had to take part, once they started the programme they enjoyed it. Young people felt that they learned a range of coping skills, and it had a positive impact on their behaviour. However, the targeted approach of the intervention could lead to young people being stigmatised by their peers. Teaching staff could see the potential benefit of mindfulness courses in schools but felt there were some barriers to be overcome if it were to be implemented in the long term.
Young people were willing to engage in mindful practice and felt it better equipped them to deal with stressful situations.
One hour of mindfulness meditation shown to reduce anxiety and some cardiovascular risk markers | Michigan Technological University | via ScienceDaily
Preliminary data from a recent student-led study shows that even a single session of meditation can have cardiovascular and psychological benefits for adults with mild to moderate anxiety.
The mindfulness study included three sessions:
- An orientation session during which researchers measured anxiety using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and conducted cardiovascular testing by measuring heart rate variability, resting blood pressure and pulse wave analysis;
- A meditation session that included repetition of the cardiovascular testing plus the mindfulness meditation—20 minutes introductory meditation, 30 minutes body scan and 10 minutes self-guided meditation—as well as repeating cardiovascular measurements immediately following meditation and 60 minutes after;
- A post-meditation anxiety test one week later.
60 minutes after meditating the 14 study participants showed lower resting heart rates and reduction in aortic pulsatile load – the amount of change in blood pressure between diastole and systole of each heartbeat multiplied by heart rate. Additionally, shortly after meditating, and even one week later, the group reported anxiety levels were lower than pre-meditation levels.
Full detail: Michigan Technological University: Meditation could help anxiety and cardiovascular health.
View full abstract at Science Direct
Article available to Rotherham NHS staff on request
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) frequently report poor psychological well-being.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of brief mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) on perceived stress, anxiety, and depression among parents of children with ASD in Jordan.
After the intervention program, the one-way analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) indicated that parents in the intervention group had better outcomes on the measures of psychological well-being and mindfulness than those in the comparison group (P < 0.01). Furthermore, results of paired samples t test indicated that parents in the intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in measures of stress, anxiety, depression, and mindfulness scores with medium to large effect size (Cohen d between 0.42 and 0.85, P < 0.01).
Although the comparison group demonstrated small improvement in measures of the dependent variables, these improvements were much less than improvements in the intervention group. The MBIs are culturally adaptable, feasible, and effective interventions to improve psychological well-being in parents of children with ASD.
Full reference: Rayan, A. & Ahmad, M. (2017) Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Perceived Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mindfulness. 8(677)
Sundquist, J. et al. (2017) European Psychiatry. 43(6) pp. 19-27
Background: The need for psychotherapy in primary health care is on the increase but individual-based treatment is costly. The main aim of this randomised controlled trial (RCT) was to compare the effect of mindfulness-based group therapy (MGT) with treatment as usual (TAU), mainly individual-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), on a broad range of psychiatric symptoms in primary care patients diagnosed with depressive, anxiety and/or stress and adjustment disorders. An additional aim was to compare the effect of MGT with TAU on mindful attention awareness.
Conclusions: No significant differences between MGT and TAU, mainly individual-based CBT, were found in treatment effect. Both types of therapies could be used in primary care patients with depressive, anxiety and/or stress and adjustment disorders, where MGT has a potential to save limited resources.
Read the abstract here
Blake, M. et al. Sleep | Published online: 18 April 2017
Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether a cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based sleep intervention could improve sleep and anxiety on school nights in a group of at-risk adolescents. We also examined whether benefits to sleep and anxiety would be mediated by improvements in sleep hygiene awareness and pre-sleep hyperarousal.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence that pre-sleep arousal but not sleep hygiene awareness is important for adolescents’ perceived sleep quality, and could be a target for new treatments of adolescent sleep problems.
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Hunter, L. (2017) BMJ Evidence-based Nursing. 20(2)
Implications for practice and research:
Mindfulness can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety among nurses and may improve patient care.
There is a need for future quantitative studies to measure the nurse-perceived benefits of mindfulness identified in qualitative research.
Mixed-methods reviews can help develop a more complete and clinically relevant understanding of a given topic.
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