Improve Psychological Health with Mindfulness Training in Nature

Improve Psychological Health with Mindfulness Training in Nature

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Outdoor meditation is an excellent way to improve mental health, reduce anxiety and lessen stress. The use of nature and outdoor space in meditation has been proven to yield major health benefits. Beyond just the physical impacts of lower blood pressure and other cardiovascular benefits—like what comes along with most exercise—meditation can leave you with an enhanced sense of energy and a better mood.” – EHE Health

 

Modern living is stressful, perhaps, in part because it has divorced us from the natural world that our species was immersed in throughout its evolutionary history. Modern environments may be damaging to our health and well-being simply because the species did not evolve to cope with them. This suggests that returning to nature, at least occasionally, may be beneficial. Indeed, researchers are beginning to study nature walks or what the Japanese call “Forest Bathing” and their effects on our mental and physical health.

 

Mindfulness practices have been found routinely to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress and improve mood. People have long reported that walking in nature elevates their mood. It appears intuitively obvious that if mindfulness training occurred in a beautiful natural place, it would greatly improve the effectiveness of mindfulness practice. Pictures in the media of meditation almost always show a practitioner meditating in a beautiful natural setting. But there is little systematic research regarding the effects of mindfulness training in nature. It’s possible that the combination might magnify the individual benefits of each.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-Based Restoration Skills Training (ReST) in a Natural Setting Compared to Conventional Mindfulness Training: Psychological Functioning After a Five-Week Course.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7438830/) Lymeus and colleagues recruited college students with self-perceived stress and  little or no meditation experience. They were randomly assigned to receive either Conventional Mindfulness Training or Restoration Skills Training in weekly 90-minute classes over 5 weeks with daily homework assignments. A no-treatment control group was separately recruited.

 

Both trainings were modelled after the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program with open monitoring and body scan meditation practices. The Conventional Mindfulness Training was conducted inside in a plain room while the Restoration Skills Training was conducted in a botanical garden both outside and inside in a greenhouse. It also emphasized “exploration of experiences emanating from sensory connection with stimuli in the environment.” The students were measured before and after training for mindfulness, cognitive function, and perceived stress.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the no-treatment control group both the Conventional Mindfulness Training and Restoration Skills Training groups had significant increases in mindfulness and cognitive functions and decreases in perceived stress with medium to large effect sizes. There were no significant differences between the 2 mindfulness training programs.

 

The present study replicates the findings that have been repeatedly demonstrated in previous research that mindfulness training increases cognitive function and decreases perceived stress. A strength of the present study was that mindfulness training in nature was compared to comparable classical mindfulness training. This allows for a direct assessment of the benefits of training in nature. Although mindfulness training in nature was found to be greatly psychologically beneficial it was not found to be superior to training inside in a plain room.

 

These results suggest that mindfulness training in nature is a viable and effective practice for the improvement of the well-being of college students. But there was no evidence that the benefits of being in nature supplemented the impact of mindfulness training. It should be noted that there may have been a ceiling effect present where both mindfulness training produced such strong benefits that there was no further room for practicing in nature to further increase the effects.

 

So, improve psychological health with mindfulness training in nature.

 

“you don’t have to choose between meditation and taking advantage of nature. Meditating outdoors is a great way to invigorate your practice and keep it going strong.” – Mindworks

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

Freddie Lymeus, Marie Ahrling, Josef Apelman, Cecilia de Mander Florin, Cecilia Nilsson, Janina Vincenti, Agnes Zetterberg, Per Lindberg, Terry Hartig. Mindfulness-Based Restoration Skills Training (ReST) in a Natural Setting Compared to Conventional Mindfulness Training: Psychological Functioning After a Five-Week Course. Front Psychol. 2020; 11: 1560. Published online 2020 Aug 12. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01560

 

Abstract

Restoration skills training (ReST) is a mindfulness-based course that draws on restorative nature experience to facilitate the meditation practice and teach widely applicable adaptation skills. Previous studies comparing ReST to conventional mindfulness training (CMT) showed that ReST has important advantages: it supports beginning meditators in connecting with restorative environmental qualities and in meditating with less effort; it restores their attention regulation capabilities; and it helps them complete the course and establish a regular meditation habit. However, mindfulness theory indicates that effortful training may be necessary to achieve generalized improvements in psychological functioning. Therefore, this study tests whether the less effortful and more acceptable ReST approach is attended by any meaningful disadvantage compared to CMT in terms of its effects on central aspects psychological functioning. We analyze data from four rounds of development of the ReST course, in each of which we compared it to a parallel and formally matched CMT course. Randomly assigned participants (total course starters = 152) provided ratings of dispositional mindfulness, cognitive functioning, and chronic stress before and after the 5-week ReST and CMT courses. Round 4 also included a separately recruited passive control condition. ReST and CMT were attended by similar average improvements in the three outcomes, although the effects on chronic stress were inconsistent. Moderate to large improvements in the three outcomes could also be affirmed in contrasts with the passive controls. Using a reliable change index, we saw that over one third of the ReST and CMT participants enjoyed reliably improved psychological functioning. The risk of experiencing deteriorated functioning was no greater with either ReST or CMT than for passive control group participants. None of the contrasts exceeded our stringent criterion for inferiority of ReST compared with CMT. We conclude that ReST is a promising alternative for otherwise healthy people with stress or concentration problems who would be less likely to complete more effortful CMT. By adapting the meditation practices to draw on restorative setting characteristics, ReST can mitigate the demands otherwise incurred in early stages of mindfulness training without compromising the acquisition of widely applicable mindfulness skills.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7438830/

 

Improve Psychological Health with a Mindfulness App

Improve Psychological Health with a Mindfulness App

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“The Mindfulness App opens up a world of professional guided meditations. It helps you towards a more peaceful and healthier state of mind. Newbie or guru? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. The Mindfulness App offers guided meditations for everyone.” – Google Play

 

Mindfulness training has been shown through extensive research to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with reducing the physical and psychological reactions to stress and increasing resilience in the face of stress. Indeed, these practices have been found to reduce stress and improve psychological health in college students.

 

The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a trained therapist. This results in costs that many clients can’t afford. In addition, the participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with their busy schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. As an alternative, mindfulness training over the internet have been developed. These have tremendous advantages in decreasing costs, making training schedules much more flexible, and eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations. In addition, research has indicated that mindfulness training online can be effective for improving the health and well-being of the participants.

 

In today’s Research News article “Feasibility and Acceptability of a Mobile Mindfulness Meditation Intervention Among Women: Intervention Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7298633/) Rung and colleagues recruited adult women and had them train for at least 30 days with 10-minute sessions of an online mindfulness app (Headspace) based upon the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. They were measured before participation and 45 days later for feasibility and acceptability of the mindfulness app, mindfulness, depression, perceived stress, sleep quality, physical activity, body size, and healthy eating.

 

Of the women enrolled only 14% completed the Headspace program while 60% of the women completed all measures but did not engage in the Headspace program. Of the women who used the Headspace App three quarters liked or loved the program while 85% stated that they would recommend the app to others. They found that in comparison to baseline and to the participants who did not participate with Headspace, there were significant reductions in depression, sleep latency, and perceived stress, and increases in sleep quality and duration, and physical activity. Interestingly, there was no significant increase in mindfulness.

 

The fact that improvements in psychological health and sleep occurred without an increase in mindfulness is puzzling. Online apps have been found previously to increase mindfulness and mindfulness has been shown to decrease depression and perceived stress, and improve sleep quality. This suggests that the app can be beneficial independent of changes in mindfulness. This needs to be further explored in future research.

 

The willingness to use the mindfulness app was disappointingly low indicating that many of the women did not have the time or desire to use it. But if they used it, they tended to like it, recommend it to others, and have improvements in their psychological health and sleep. Obviously, more research is needed to identify why so few women were willing to utilize the app as this markedly limits its usefulness.

 

So, improve psychological health with a mindfulness app.

 

Meditation apps aren’t just a boon for consumers hoping to learn how to be more present at an affordable price. If effective, they also have implications for workplaces, schools, and even nations, who want to cultivate happier and healthier communities.” – Kira Newman

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Rung, A. L., Oral, E., Berghammer, L., & Peters, E. S. (2020). Feasibility and Acceptability of a Mobile Mindfulness Meditation Intervention Among Women: Intervention Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 8(6), e15943. https://doi.org/10.2196/15943

 

Abstract

Background

Traditional mindfulness-based stress reduction programs are resource intensive for providers and time- and cost-intensive for participants, but the use of mobile technologies may be particularly convenient and cost-effective for populations that are busy, less affluent, or geographically distant from skilled providers. Women in southern Louisiana live in a vulnerable, disaster-prone region and are highly stressed, making a mobile program particularly suited to this population.

Objective

This study aimed to (1) assess the feasibility and acceptability of a mobile mindfulness app in real-world conditions in a pilot study of a community sample of women residing in southern Louisiana, (2) describe predictors of app usage, and (3) assess the effect of the app on secondary health outcomes.

Methods

Women were recruited from an oil spill study on health. A total of 236 women completed a baseline survey, were offered the mobile mindfulness program, and completed a follow-up survey. Subjects were asked to download and use the app for at least 30 days for 10 min. All study procedures were completed on the web. Primary outcomes were feasibility and acceptability of the app and characteristics of app utilization. Secondary outcomes included mindfulness, depression, perceived stress, sleep quality, physical activity, BMI, and healthy eating.

Results

Overall, 74.2% (236/318) of subjects completed the follow-up survey, and 13.5% (43/318) used the app. The main barrier to app usage was lack of time, cited by 37% (16/43) of users and 48.7% (94/193) of nonusers of the app. Women who chose to use the app were more highly educated (16/43, 63% had a college education vs 65/193, 33.7% of nonparticipants; P<.001), had higher incomes (23/43, 58% had incomes >US $50,000 per year vs 77/193, 43.0% of nonparticipants), and were employed (34/43, 79% vs 122/193, 63.2% of nonparticipants; P=.047). Those who engaged with the app did so at high levels, with 72% (31/43) of participants self-reporting the completion of some or all sessions and 74% (32/43) reporting high levels of satisfaction with the app. Participation with the app had a beneficial impact on depression (odds ratio [OR] 0.3, 95% CI 0.11-0.81), sleep quality (OR 0.1, 95% CI 0.02-0.96), sleep duration (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.07-0.86), sleep latency (OR 0.3, 95% CI 0.11-0.81), and physical activity (2.8 95% CI 1.0-7.8), but mindfulness scores did not change from baseline to follow-up.

Conclusions

The Headspace mobile mindfulness app was easy and cost-effective to implement and acceptable to those who participated, but few women elected to try it. The unique characteristics of this southern Louisiana population suggest that more intense promotion of the benefits of mindfulness training is needed, perhaps in conjunction with some therapist or researcher support. Several short-term benefits of the app were identified, particularly for depression and sleep.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7298633/

 

Mindfulness Trained Over the Internet Improves Stress Management in Healthy Adults

Mindfulness Trained Over the Internet Improves Stress Management in Healthy Adults

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness gently builds an inner strength, so that future stressors have less impact on our happiness and physical well-being.” – Shamash Alidina

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to be effective in improving physical and psychological health. One reason for these benefits is that mindfulness training improves the individual’s physical and psychological reactions to stress. Stress is an integral part of life, that is actually essential to the health of the body. In moderation, it is healthful, strengthening, and provides interest and fun to life. If stress, is high or is prolonged, however, it can be problematic. It can significantly damage our physical and mental health and even reduce our longevity, leading to premature deaths.

 

It is important that we develop methods to either reduce or control high or prolonged stress or reduce our responses to it. Mindfulness practices have been found routinely to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress. and this appears to be important for health. The vast majority of the mindfulness training techniques, however, require a trained teacher. The participants must be available to attend multiple sessions at particular scheduled times that may or may not be compatible with busy employee schedules and at locations that may not be convenient. As an alternative, training over the internet  has been developed. This has tremendous advantages in decreasing costs, making training schedules much more flexible, and eliminating the need to go repeatedly to specific locations. But the question arises as to the effectiveness of this approach in inducing mindfulness and reducing stress and improving psychological well-being in healthy individuals in real-world work settings.

 

The evidence has been accumulating. So, it is reasonable to step back and summarize what has been learned about the effects of mindfulness provided over the internet on the individual’s ability to manage stress. In today’s Research News article “A meta-analysis: Internet mindfulness-based interventions for stress management in the general population.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7360300/) Zhang and colleagues reviewed, summarized, and performed a meta-analysis of the published research controlled trials investigating the effects of mindfulness training provided over the internet on the management of stress in healthy participants. They identified 16 controlled trials.

 

They report that the published research found that mindfulness training of healthy participants provided over the internet produced significant increases in mindfulness and significant decreases in perceived stress with moderate effect sizes and significant decreases in anxiety and depression with small effect sizes. These results occurred regardless of the method of delivery of mindfulness training and whether students, staff, or both were the subjects. In addition, they found that when therapist guidance was present the effect sizes were larger.

 

It has been well established the mindfulness training decreases perceived stress, anxiety, and depression in a variety of healthy and ill populations and with a variety of delivery methods. The present meta-analysis demonstrates that mindfulness training over the internet is effective in improving stress management and mental health in healthy individuals. The results also suggest that having some guidance from a therapist provided along with the internet-based training improves the effectiveness of the treatments.

 

These results suggest that mindfulness training is widely effective and can be delivered cheaply and conveniently to large numbers of geographically diffuse populations. Since, stress is so ubiquitous in modern society, mindfulness training may be a way to counter the effects of that stress on physical and mental health.

 

So, mindfulness trained over the internet improves stress management in healthy adults.

 

Learning how to accept your present-moment experience is really important for reducing stress. It seems to be a key element of mindfulness training.” – Emily Lindsay

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Zhang, Y., Xue, J., & Huang, Y. (2020). A meta-analysis: Internet mindfulness-based interventions for stress management in the general population. Medicine, 99(28), e20493. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000020493

 

Abstract

Background:

Psychological stress was an important mental health problem among the general population and warrant research to inform strategies for effective prevention. iMBIs provide a possibility to offer easily accessible, efficacious, convenient, and low-cost interventions on a wide scale. However, the efficacy of iMBIs in the general population remains unclear. The aim of this meta-analysis is to evaluate the effects of iMBIs for stress reduction in the general population.

Methods:

A systematic search in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Medline, Cochrane Library, CNKI, and Wanfang Data databases was performed up to April 10, 2019. The overall effect sizes of the iMBIs on stress, depression, anxiety, and mindfulness were recorded by the metric of Hedges’ g with 95% confidence interval (CI), Z-value, and P value.

Results:

Sixteen eligible studies were included in the meta-analysis. The overall results indicated that iMBIs had small to moderate effects on stress (Hedges’ g = −0.393) and mindfulness (Hedges’ g = −0.316) compared with the control group. Results from subgroup analyses revealed that the type of sample and delivery mode had a greater impact on heterogeneity across the studies. Meta-regression found that the overall effect might be moderated by guidance for iMBIs.

Conclusion:

The present meta-analysis suggested that iMBIs had small to moderate effects in reducing stress and improving mindfulness of the general population in comparison with the control group. Future research is needed to explore how iMBIs are remolded to improve adherence and suit specific individuals.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7360300/

 

Improve College Student Adjustment with Mindfulness

Improve College Student Adjustment with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness and meditation are both great ways for students to improve their health. And the benefits of these practices can also trickle into their academic lives.” – Kenya McCullum

 

In the modern world education is a key for success. Where a high school education was sufficient in previous generations, a college degree is now required to succeed in the new knowledge-based economies. There is a lot of pressure on university students to excel so that they can get the best jobs after graduation. This stress might in fact be counterproductive as the increased pressure can actually lead to stress and anxiety which can impede the student’s physical and mental health, well-being, and school performance.

 

Mindfulness training has been shown through extensive research to be effective in improving physical and psychological health and particularly with reducing the physical and psychological reactions to stress and increasing resilience in the face of stress. Indeed, these practices have been found to reduce stress and improve psychological health in college students. So, mindfulness may be an important tool to enhance student’s well-being and adjustment to college.

 

In today’s Research News article “The Differential Role of Coping, Physical Activity, and Mindfulness in College Student Adjustment.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01858/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1401267_69_Psycho_20200811_arts_A) Moeller and colleagues recruited undergraduate students and had them complete measures of anxiety, depression, loneliness, perceived stress, coping strategies, self-esteem, physical activity, and mindfulness. These data were then analyzed with regression analysis.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindful awareness and non-judgement the lower the levels of anxiety, depression, loneliness, perceived stress, and disengaged coping and the higher the levels of self-esteem. Regression models predicting the student’s stress levels and their anxiety levels revealed that they were associated with disengaged coping and negatively associated with mindfulness. A regression model predicting the student’s depression levels revealed that they were associated with disengaged coping and negatively associated with engagement coping, physical activity, and mindfulness. A regression model predicting the student’s loneliness levels revealed that they were associated with disengaged coping and negatively associated with engagement coping, physical activity, and mindfulness. Finally, a regression model predicting the student’s self-esteem levels revealed that they were associated positively associated with engagement coping, physical activity, and mindfulness and negatively with disengaged coping.

 

These findings are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. But the findings highlight the importance of mindfulness with the psychological well-being of undergraduate students. As has been seen in other studies with a variety of different participants mindfulness is associated with lower levels of negative emotional states such as anxiety, depression, perceived stress, and loneliness and higher levels of self-esteem. In other words, mindfulness in college students is a predictor of better mental health and well-being. This should allow the students to better adjust to college and be more successful in their studies.

 

So, improve college student adjustment with mindfulness.

 

mindfulness is not something to do just because you “should” or “to be healthy”; rather, the benefits enable students to become more effective leaders who can fully enjoy their lives.” – Priya Thomas

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Moeller RW, Seehuus M, Simonds J, Lorton E, Randle TS, Richter C and Peisch V (2020) The Differential Role of Coping, Physical Activity, and Mindfulness in College Student Adjustment. Front. Psychol. 11:1858. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01858

 

Research has examined the function of stress management techniques, including coping, physical activity, and mindfulness on college students’ adjustment. The present study examined the differential contributions of three stress management techniques to students’ maladaptation (perceived stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness) and adaptation (self-esteem). Undergraduate students (N = 1185) responded to an online survey. Hierarchical linear regression results indicated that all three stress management techniques – coping, physical activity, and mindfulness – were related to the five outcomes as predicted. Higher levels of disengagement coping strategies were related to higher perceived stress, anxiety, and depression. Components of mindfulness emerged as a strong predictor of adaptation.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01858/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1401267_69_Psycho_20200811_arts_A

 

Improve Compassion and Self-Compassion in Health Care Professionals with Mindfulness

Improve Compassion and Self-Compassion in Health Care Professionals with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Burgeoning research is showing that self-compassion skills can be of particular benefit to health care professionals, allowing them to experience greater satisfaction in their caregiving roles, less stress, and more emotional resilience.” – CMSC

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. In high stress occupations, like healthcare, burnout is all too prevalent. Burnout is the fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, and professional inefficacy that comes with work-related stress. It is estimated that over 45% of healthcare workers experience burnout. It not only affects the healthcare providers personally, but also the patients, as it produces a loss of empathy and compassion. Burnout, in fact, it is a threat to the entire healthcare system. Currently, over a third of healthcare workers report that they are looking for a new job. Hence, burnout contributes to the shortage of doctors and nurses.

 

Preventing burnout has to be a priority. Unfortunately, it is beyond the ability of the individual to change the environment to reduce stress and prevent burnout. So, it is important that methods be found to reduce the individual’s responses to stress; to make the individual more resilient when high levels of stress occur. Contemplative practices have been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress and improve well-being. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing burnoutincreasing resilience, and improving sleep.

 

One way that mindfulness may help reduce burnout is by improving self-compassion. Self-compassion is “treating oneself with kindness and understanding when facing suffering, seeing one’s failures as part of the human condition, and having a balanced awareness of painful thoughts and emotions” (Kristin Neff). This may reduce the perfectionism and self-judgement that is common among physicians and thereby reduce burnout.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness, Compassion, and Self-Compassion Among Health Care Professionals: What’s New? A Systematic Review.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01683/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1401267_69_Psycho_20200811_arts_A) Conversano and colleagues review and summarize the published research studies of the effects of mindfulness on compassion and self-compassion and the symptoms of burnout in health care professionals. They identified 57 published studies consisting of: “randomized controlled trials (4), studies with pre-post measurements (23), cross-sectional studies (12), cohort studies (11), and qualitative studies (7)”.

 

They report that the published research found that the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program was effective in increasing mindfulness and self-compassion and reducing burnout, stress, anxiety and depression. Other mindfulness trainings were effective in increasing mindfulness and self-compassion and reducing negative emotions and compassion fatigue. Compassion training programs were effective in increasing mindfulness, positive emotions, and self-compassion and reducing interpersonal conflicts, negative emotions and compassion fatigue.

 

This research summary suggests that mindfulness training and compassion training are both useful in combatting the stress of healthcare work and reducing potential burnout of these professionals. The large number of studies employing different mindfulness and compassion training programs makes a strong case for the use of mindfulness and compassion training to reduce the likelihood of burnout of health care professionals and thereby improve the quality of the delivery of health care to the patients. This all suggests that mindfulness and compassion training should be routinely incorporated in the training and continuing education of healthcare workers,

 

Improve compassion and self-compassion in health care professionals with mindfulness.

 

health care professionals who completed the MBSR program reported an increase in feelings of self-compassion and reduced stress.” – Elaine Mead

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Conversano C, Ciacchini R, Orrù G, Di Giuseppe M, Gemignani A and Poli A (2020) Mindfulness, Compassion, and Self-Compassion Among Health Care Professionals: What’s New? A Systematic Review. Front. Psychol. 11:1683. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01683

 

Health care professionals (HCPs) are a population at risk for high levels of burnout and compassion fatigue. The aim of the present systematic review was to give an overview on recent literature about mindfulness and compassion characteristics of HCPs, while exploring the effectiveness of techniques, involving the two aspects, such as MBSR or mindfulness intervention and compassion fatigue-related programs. A search of databases, including PubMed and PsycINFO, was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and the methodological quality for this systematic review was appraised using AMSTAR-2 (A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews-2). The number of articles that met the inclusion criteria was 58 (4 RCTs, 24 studies with pre-post measurements, 12 cross-sectional studies, 11 cohort studies and 7 qualitative studies). MBSR intervention was effective at improving, and maintaining, mindfulness and self-compassion levels and to improve burnout, depression, anxiety, stress. The most frequently employed interventional strategies were mindfulness-related trainings that were effective at improving mindfulness and self-compassion, but not compassion fatigue, levels. Compassion-related interventions have been shown to improve self-compassion, mindfulness and interpersonal conflict levels. Mindfulness was effective at improving negative affect and compassion fatigue, while compassion satisfaction may be related to cultivation of positive affect. This systematic review summarized the evidence regarding mindfulness- and compassion-related qualities of HCPs as well as potential effects of MBSR, mindfulness-related and compassion-related interventions on professionals’ psychological variables like mindfulness, self-compassion and quality of life. Combining structured mindfulness and compassion cultivation trainings may enhance the effects of interventions, limit the variability of intervention protocols and improve data comparability of future research.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01683/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1401267_69_Psycho_20200811_arts_A

 

Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Impact of Fibromyalgia and Greater Well-Being

Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Impact of Fibromyalgia and Greater Well-Being

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

people with fibromyalgia may have what’s called an “attentional bias” toward negative information that appeared to be linked to pain severity. . . mindfulness training may help manage this trait and therefore reduce pain.” – Adrienne Dellwo

 

Fibromyalgia is a mysterious disorder whose causes are unknown. It is very common affecting over 5 million people in the U.S., about 2% of the population with about 7 times more women affected than men. It is characterized by widespread pain, abnormal pain processing, sleep disturbance, and fatigue that lead to psychological distress. Fibromyalgia may also have morning stiffness, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, headaches, including migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep disturbances, thinking and memory problems, and painful menstrual periods. The symptoms are so severe and debilitating that about half the patients are unable to perform routine daily functions and about a third have to stop work. Although it is not itself fatal, suicide rates are higher in fibromyalgia sufferers. Clearly, fibromyalgia greatly reduces the quality of life of its’ sufferers.

 

There are no completely effective treatments for fibromyalgia. Symptoms are generally treated with pain relievers, antidepressant drugs and exercise. But these only reduce the severity of the symptoms and do not treat the disease directly. Mindfulness practices have also been shown to be effective in reducing pain from fibromyalgia. Some of the effects of mindfulness practices are to alter thought processes, changing what is thought about. In terms of pain, mindfulness training, by focusing attention on the present moment has been shown to reduce worry and catastrophizing. Pain is increased by worry about the pain and the expectation of greater pain in the future. So, mindfulness may reduce worry and catastrophizing and thereby reduce fibromyalgia pain and improve the quality of life.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness is associated with psychological health and moderates the impact of fibromyalgia.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6545163/) Pleman and colleagues recruited adult patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and had them complete measures of mindfulness, fibromyalgia impact, pain interference, symptom severity, anxiety, depression, perceived stress, coping strategies, health-related quality of life, self-efficacy, and walking ability.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of fibromyalgia impact, pain interference, symptom severity, anxiety, depression, and perceived stress, and the higher the mental health related quality of life, coping, and self-efficacy. This was true also for the individual mindfulness facets of describing, acting-with-awareness, and non-judging. Hence, mindfulness was associated with better psychological health and lower overall impact of fibromyalgia.

 

These findings are correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. But prior research has shown that mindfulness training causes improvements in fibromyalgia. So, the present findings are probably due to a causal effect of being mindful on the psychological and physical impact of fibromyalgia and the quality of life of the patients. Hence, mindfulness can go a long way toward relieving the suffering of patients with fibromyalgia.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with lower impact of fibromyalgia and greater well-being.

 

“Often, individuals with fibromyalgia demonstrate a series of maladaptive coping strategies which in turn can lead to poor mental health; however mindfulness meditation has been shown to significantly improve this.” – Breathworks

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Pleman, B., Park, M., Han, X., Price, L. L., Bannuru, R. R., Harvey, W. F., Driban, J. B., & Wang, C. (2019). Mindfulness is associated with psychological health and moderates the impact of fibromyalgia. Clinical rheumatology, 38(6), 1737–1745. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10067-019-04436-1

 

Abstract

Objective

Previous studies suggest mindfulness is associated with pain and depression. However, its impact in individuals with fibromyalgia remains unclear. We examined associations between mindfulness and physical and psychological symptoms, pain interference, and quality of life in fibromyalgia patients.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional analysis on baseline data from a fibromyalgia clinical trial. Mindfulness was assessed using the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). Pearson’s correlations and multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate associations between mindfulness and fibromyalgia impact, pain interference, physical function, depression, anxiety, stress, self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life. We also examined whether mindfulness moderated associations between fibromyalgia impact and psychological outcomes.

Results

A total of 177 participants (age 52.0±12.2 (SD) years; 93.2% women; 58.8% white; body mass index 30.1±6.7 kg/m2; FFMQ score 131.3±20.7; Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire score 57.0±19.4) were included. Higher total mindfulness was significantly associated with lower fibromyalgia impact (r=−0.25), pain interference (r=−0.31), stress (r=−0.56), anxiety (r=−0.58), depression (r=−0.54), and better mental health-related quality of life (r=0.57). Describing, Acting-with-awareness, and Non-judging facets of mindfulness were also associated with these outcomes. Mindfulness moderated the effect of fibromyalgia impact on anxiety (interaction P=0.01).

Conclusion

Higher mindfulness is associated with less pain interference, lower impact of fibromyalgia, and better psychological health and quality of life in people with fibromyalgia. Mindfulness moderates the influence of fibromyalgia impact on anxiety, suggesting mindfulness may alter how patients cope with fibromyalgia. Future studies should assess how mind-body therapies aiming to cultivate mindfulness may impact the well-being of patients with fibromyalgia.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6545163/

 

Reduce Occupational Stress in School Principals with Yoga

Reduce Occupational Stress in School Principals with Yoga

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

yoga is a good practice in the workplace as a means of reducing stress,” said Stacy Hunter

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This often produces burnout; fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, and professional inefficacy. In a school setting, this exhaustion not only affects teachers and administrators personally, but also the students and schools, as it produces a loss of enthusiasm, empathy, and compassion. School principals are in a particularly stressful position dealing not only with teachers, staff, and students, but also with parents, school boards, and system administrators.

 

Hence, there is a need to identify methods of reducing stress and improving school principal psychological health. Mindfulness has been demonstrated to be helpful in reducing the psychological and physiological responses to stress and for treating and preventing burnout in a number of work environments. Yoga practice has the extra benefits of not only being mindfulness training but also as an exercise. Hence, it’s important to study the effects of yoga practice on the psychological health and burnout symptoms of school principals.

 

In today’s Research News article “Impact of residential yoga training on occupational stress and health promotion in principals.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7161695/) Verma and colleagues recruited veteran school principals with at least 15 years of experience and provided them with 7 days of yoga practice for 1 hour and 45 minutes twice daily along with 3 hours of daily lectures on stress management, yoga for total health, meditation, yoga in school education, and scientific basis of yoga and pranayama. They were measured before and after the week’s training for occupational stress, including role overload, role ambiguity, role conflict, unreasonable group and political pressure, responsibility for persons, under participation, powerlessness, poor peer relations, intrinsic impoverishment, law status, strenuous working condition, and unprofitability.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline, after yoga training there were significant improvements in occupational stress, including role overload, role ambiguity, role conflict, under participation, powerlessness, intrinsic impoverishment, and law status. But the study should be considered as a pilot study as there was no control group. The before-after research design is subject to a large number of alternative confounding interpretations including demand characteristics, participant expectation effects, attention effects, experimenter bias, etc. So, the positive findings of a significant reduction in occupational stress after the training should be seen as suggesting that is reasonable to conduct a randomized controlled trial.

 

So, reduce occupational stress in school principals with yoga.

 

If you find yourself feeling cranky, wound up, or lethargic during the workday, get your body moving! See if you can take a break for some “office yoga,” especially beneficial if your job keeps you seated for most of the day.” – Nishita Morris

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Verma, A., Shete, S. U., & Doddoli, G. (2020). Impact of residential yoga training on occupational stress and health promotion in principals. Journal of education and health promotion, 9, 30. https://doi.org/10.4103/jehp.jehp_394_19

 

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Occupational stress is known as harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the resources, needs, or capabilities of an employee, leading to poor mental and physical health.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of 1-week residential yoga training program on occupational stress and its subscales among principals.

METHODS:

Thirty-three principals with ages 40–59 years completed the assessment. They received yoga training at Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute. All the participants were recruited by Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan as part of their on-duty yoga training. At the baseline and after 1 week of yoga training participants were assessed for occupational stress. The yoga intervention was given in the morning and evening for 105 min. Apart from yoga training, all the participants were engaged in lectures based on stress management, yoga for total health, meditation, yoga in school education, and scientific basis of yoga, daily for 3 h.

RESULTS:

The principals showed a significant decrease in role overload (P < 0.001), role ambiguity (P < 0.01), role conflict (P < 0.05), under participation (P < 0.001), powerlessness (P < 0.001), intrinsic impoverishment (P < 0.01), law status (P < 0.001), and overall occupational stress (P < 0.001) after 7 days of yoga training intervention. However, there was no significant change in unreasonable group and political pressure (P > 0.05), responsibility for persons (P > 0.05), poor peer relations (P > 0.05), strenuous working conditions (P > 0.05), and unprofitability (P > 0.05) after yoga training intervention.

CONCLUSION:

The present study suggests that 1 week of residential yoga training program can improve occupational stress in principals.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7161695/

 

Improve Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, their Caregivers, and the Agency with Mindfulness

Improve Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, their Caregivers, and the Agency with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“mindfulness practices could be helpful for these caregivers because they encourage a nonjudgmental interpretation of their child’s situation, and increased acceptance of their reality.” – Emily Nauman

 

There is a tremendous demand for caregiving in the US. It is estimated that over 65 million (29% of the adult population) provides care to someone who is ill, disabled or aged, averaging 20 hours per week spent caring for their loved ones. This caregiving comes at a cost exacting a tremendous toll on caregivers’ health and well-being. Caregiving has been associated with increased levels of depression and anxiety as well as higher use of psychoactive medications, poorer self-reported physical health, compromised immune function, and increased mortality.

 

Caring for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities can be particularly difficult. Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, may impact day-to-day functioning, and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. Recent estimates in the United States show that about one in six, or about 15%, of children aged 3 through 17 years have a one or more developmental disabilities.

 

The challenges of caring for a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities require that the caregiver be able to deal with stress, to regulate their own emotions, and to be sensitive and attentive to the child. These skills are exactly those that are developed in mindfulness training. It improves the psychological and physiological responses to stress. It improves emotion regulation, it improves the ability to maintain attention and focus in the face of high levels of distraction, and can reduce burnout.

 

In today’s Research News article “Comparative Effectiveness of Caregiver Training in Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in a Randomized Controlled Trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7223775/) Singh and colleagues recruited caregivers from a home for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were randomly assigned to receive either Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) of Positive Behavior Support (PBS).  The interventions were for 10 weeks and consisted of “an 8-h day on the first day of week 1 of training, followed by daily practice for 4 weeks. . .  a second part included five 8-h days (i.e., 40 h) during week 5, followed by daily practice for 4 weeks. . . and third part was again an 8-h day on the first day of week 10, followed by daily practice for the rest of the week.” During the next 30 weeks data were collected. The caregivers were measured before and after training for compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue, perceived stress, professional quality of life, and meditation practice. The children’s behavior was rated for aggressive events, staff injury, and peer injury. The agency was evaluated for the use of physical restraints, emergency medication, staffing, and cost effectiveness.

 

They found that both interventions produced significantly increased compassion satisfaction, and decreased perceived and traumatic stress, and burnout for the caregivers. The Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) group, however, had significantly greater improvements than the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) group. Similar results were found for the children’s behavior with both treatments producing significant decreases with aggression, staff injuries, and peer injuries. Once again, the mindfulness group had significantly superior results. For the agency outcomes Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) produced significantly reduced use of physical restraints, emergency medication, and one-on-one staffing. In addition, the mindfulness treatment had significantly greater cost effectiveness.

 

These are very encouraging results that demonstrate that Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) is highly effective in improving the situation for staff, children, and the agency in an institution for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It increased

caregivers’ well-being and the children’s behavior, and decreased the strains on the agency. Amazingly, the mindfulness-based treatment was even more cost-effective.

 

So, improve children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their caregivers, and the agency with mindfulness.

 

“the greater effects associated with mindfulness techniques may be due to “the immediacy of physiologic relaxation responses incurred in mindfulness practice, including strengthened attention to bodily sensations, and less reliance on rumination or other automatic emotions.” – Summer Allen

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Singh, N. N., Lancioni, G. E., Medvedev, O. N., Myers, R. E., Chan, J., McPherson, C. L., Jackman, M. M., & Kim, E. (2020). Comparative Effectiveness of Caregiver Training in Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in a Randomized Controlled Trial. Mindfulness, 11(1), 99–111. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-0895-2

 

Abstract

Caregivers of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are often stressed due to the demands of the job, including the nature and severity of challenging behaviors of the clients, work conditions, degree of management support for the staff, and the demands of implementing some interventions under adverse conditions. Mindfulness-Based Positive Behavior Support (MBPBS) and PBS alone have been shown to be effective in assisting caregivers to better manage the challenging behaviors of clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The aim of the present study was to undertake a head-to-head assessment of the effectiveness of MBPBS and PBS alone in a 40-week randomized controlled trial. Of the 123 caregivers who met inclusion criteria, 60 were randomly assigned to MBPBS and 63 to PBS alone, with 59 completing the trial in the MBPBS condition and 57 in the PBS alone condition. Results showed both interventions to be effective, but the caregiver, client, and agency outcomes for MBPBS were uniformly superior to those of PBS alone condition. In addition, the MBPBS training was substantially more cost-effective than the PBS alone training. The present results add to the evidence base for the effectiveness of MBPBS and, if independently replicated, could provide an integrative health care approach in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7223775/

 

Decrease Teacher Stress and Improve Mental Health with a 4-Day Intensive Mindfulness Program

Decrease Teacher Stress and Improve Mental Health with a 4-Day Intensive Mindfulness Program

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

when teachers practice mindfulness, students’ misbehavior and other stressors become like water off a duck’s back, allowing them to stay focused on what teachers really want to do: teach.” – Vickie Zakrzewski

 

Stress is epidemic in the western workplace with almost two thirds of workers reporting high levels of stress at work. This often produces burnout; fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, and professional inefficacy. Teachers experience burnout at high rates. Roughly a half a million teachers out of a workforce of three million, leave the profession each year and the rate is almost double in poor schools compared to affluent schools. Indeed, nearly half of new teachers leave in their first five years.

 

Burnout frequently results from emotional exhaustion. This exhaustion not only affects the teachers personally, but also the students, as it produces a loss of enthusiasm, empathy, and compassion. Regardless of the reasons for burnout or its immediate presenting consequences, it is a threat to schools and their students. In fact, it is a threat to the entire educational systems as it contributes to the shortage of teachers. Hence, methods of reducing stress and improving teacher psychological health needs to be studied.

 

Mindfulness techniques are gaining increasing attention for the treatment of the symptoms of stress and burnout. They have been demonstrated to be helpful in reducing the psychological and physiological responses to stress and for treating and preventing burnout in a number of work environments including schools. Teachers, though, have very busy schedules and it is often difficult to find the time for mindfulness training. So, abbreviated programs may be very useful but their efficacy needs to be established.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of a Four-Day Mindfulness Intervention on Teachers’ Stress and Affect: A Pilot Study in Eastern China.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01298/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1373328_69_Psycho_20200709_arts_A) Song and colleagues recruited school teachers online and randomly assigned them to a wait-list or to receive a 4-day mindfulness training. The mindfulness training was based upon the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) that consists of discussion, meditation, yoga and body scan practices. They met for 8 hours per day for 4 days. They were measured before and after training for mindfulness, perceived stress, and positive and negative emotions.

 

They found that in comparison to baseline and the wait-list group, the teachers who received the mindfulness training had significantly higher levels of mindfulness and lower levels of perceived stress and negative emotions. Hence, a short-term, 4-day, mindfulness training is effective in reducing stress and negative emotions in school teachers.

 

The results demonstrate that a short-term intensive training can significantly increase mindfulness. Such a program is valuable in that it can be implemented before the start of a school year when the teachers have the available time to participate. In addition, it produces results that are similar to those observed in previous studies using trainings occurring over longer periods where mindfulness training decreases perceived stress and negative emotions. It will be important in future work to determine the long-term effectiveness of the training and whether it reduces burnout in teachers.

 

So, decrease teacher stress and improve mental health with a 4-day intensive mindfulness program.

 

“mindfulness training for teachers can help them cope better with stress on the job while also making the classroom environment more productive for learning.” – Jill Suttie

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Song X, Zheng M, Zhao H, Yang T, Ge X, Li H and Lou T (2020) Effects of a Four-Day Mindfulness Intervention on Teachers’ Stress and Affect: A Pilot Study in Eastern China. Front. Psychol. 11:1298. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01298

 

Stress is becoming increasingly prevalent among teacher groups, and this is problematic for education. Mindfulness training (MT) is a well-supported way to help various populations cope with and reduce stress. In this study, a 4-day intensive MT program that aimed to increase teachers’ emotional health was developed and implemented into the existing post-service education for teachers in eastern China. A total of 161 teachers voluntarily enrolled in the course and were assigned to either the mindfulness group or the waitlist group. Participants completed measures of mindfulness, positive affect, negative affect, and perceived stress before and after the program. The results showed that MT had statistically significant positive effects on mindfulness, negative affect, and stress. The present findings indicate that a 4-day intensive MT program is a promising way to decrease teachers’ stress and improve their emotional health. The practical meaning of the short-term intensive MT program for teachers is discussed. It is easier for teachers to enroll such a short-term training program, as it may have higher acceptance and feasibility than an 8-week training program in some areas.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01298/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1373328_69_Psycho_20200709_arts_A

 

Mindfulness Reduces the Impact of Job Climate on Healthcare Workers Job Satisfaction

Mindfulness Reduces the Impact of Job Climate on Healthcare Workers Job Satisfaction

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

being mindful at work can reduce your level of emotional exhaustion, help keep your emotions on an even keel, and increase your job satisfaction.” – Fox News

 

In high stress occupations, like healthcare work, burnout is all too prevalent. It is characterized by fatigue, cynicism, emotional exhaustion, sleep disruption, professional inefficacy, and low job satisfaction that comes with work-related stress. It is estimated that over 45% of healthcare workers experience burnout. It not only affects the healthcare providers personally, but also the patients, as it produces a loss of empathy and compassion.

 

It is beyond the ability of the individual to change the environment to reduce stress and prevent burnout. So, it is important that methods be found to reduce the individual’s responses to stress; to make the individual more resilient when high levels of stress occur and thereby make them better healthcare providers. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce the psychological and physiological responses to stress and improve well-being. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to be helpful in treating and preventing burnoutincreasing resilience, and improving sleep. Hence, mindfulness may be a means to reduce burnout and improve well-being, and job satisfaction in healthcare workers.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness as a Protective Factor for Dissatisfaction in HCWs: The Moderating Role of Mindful Attention between Climate Stress and Job Satisfaction.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312809/) Ramaci and colleagues recruited nurses from an emergency hospital and had them complete measures of occupational stress, including managerial roles, relationships with other people, organizational structure, and power subscales, mindfulness, job control, and job satisfaction.

 

They found that occupational work climate was negatively related to job satisfaction. But mindful attention was found to moderate this relationship such that the higher the nurses’ levels of mindful attention the smaller the negative impact of occupational work climate on job satisfaction.

 

Stressful organizational climates are characterized by limited participation in decisions, use of punishment and negative feedback, conflict avoidance or confrontation, and non-supportive group and leader relations. The study reports, not surprisingly, that this type of climate is related to low job satisfaction in nurses. These organizational climates tend to poison the work environment leading to unhappiness and low satisfaction with their jobs. But mindfulness may help nurses cope with such a negative climate. High levels of mindfulness lessen the negative relationship between organizational climate and job satisfaction.

 

Mindfulness has been shown to decrease the physiological and psychological impact of stress. This may account for its moderating effect on the impact of organizational climate on job satisfaction. The mindful nurses are simply less stressed by the climate. It may also be the case that mindful nurses are more focused on the immediate job, with less intrusive thoughts about a negative climate. By focusing on the job itself, they are more affected by the satisfaction of helping others and thereby less impacted by the organizational climate. Regardless, it is clear the being mindful is an asset that can assist nurses in coping with the organizational climate. It remains for future research to determine causation by training nurses in mindfulness and observing the effects of this training on the stresses produced by negative organizational climates.

 

So, mindfulness reduces the impact of job climate on healthcare workers job satisfaction.

 

Mindfulness in the workplace is most likely beneficial, whether the end goal is productivity or – more broadly speaking – employee wellness.” – Marlynn Wei

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ramaci, T., Rapisarda, V., Bellini, D., Mucci, N., De Giorgio, A., & Barattucci, M. (2020). Mindfulness as a Protective Factor for Dissatisfaction in HCWs: The Moderating Role of Mindful Attention between Climate Stress and Job Satisfaction. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(11), 3818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113818

 

Abstract

With the aim of investigating the possible moderating effect of job control and dispositional mindfulness between different sources of organizational stress and job satisfaction, a correlational study was designed involving health care workers (HCWs). The following questionnaires were administered and completed by 237 HCWs: (1) Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI), to measure the sources of stress at work (managerial role, climate power, climate structure, internal relationships), and job satisfaction; (2) Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) to assess the individual’s level of attention to what is taking place in the present; (3) Job Control Scale (JCS) to assess the perceived control at work. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the hypothesized relationships between variables; the results showed that, between the different sources of stress, the organizational climate dimension was negatively associated with job satisfaction; moreover, mindfulness attention moderated the relationship between climate stress and job satisfaction; unexpectedly, the interaction between job control and the organizational climate dimension was not significant in affecting job satisfaction. This study can provide useful information for Human Resources Management (HRM) practices regarding job and mental control interventions and empowerment, and possibly offer a new interpretation of the role of attention to what is happening in the present moment and autonomy between climate stressors and occupational satisfaction.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312809/