Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Plus Loving-Kindness Mediation is highly Effective in Depressed Patients

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Plus Loving-Kindness Mediation is highly Effective in Depressed Patients

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“MBCT can provide a viable relapse prevention intervention for people with a history of recurrent depression.” – Catherine Crane

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs, only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms). So, it is important that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering.

 

Mindfulness training is an alternative treatment for depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs failMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. MBCT has been found to be effective in treating depression.

 

Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) is designed to develop kindness and compassion to oneself and others. The individual systematically pictures different individuals from self, to close friends, to enemies and wishes them happiness, well-being, safety, peace, and ease of well-being. Although LKM has been practiced for centuries, it has received very little scientific research attention. But it may be effective in counteracting the effects of stress and self-criticism. It is not known how effective the combination of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Loving Kindness Meditation might be in treating depression.

 

In today’s Research News article “A study on the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and loving-kindness mediation on depression, rumination, mindfulness level and quality of life in depressed patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205847/ ) Wang and colleagues recruited adult patients with depression and randomly assigned them to receive either regular care or to receive 1 hour once per day for 1 week Loving Kindness Meditation followed by 8 weeks, once per week of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) also with Loving Kindness Meditation practice. Regular care consisted of “basic knowledge of depression, common drugs, possible adverse drug reactions, and prevention of adverse reactions . . . Face-to-face communication with patients was conducted regularly to understand their thoughts, evaluate the depression degrees of patients, so as to provide psychological support for depressed patients, and care for patients in daily life.” They were measured at baseline and at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks for mindfulness, depression, rumination, quality of life, self-acceptance, and sense of stigma.

 

They found that both groups significantly decreased in depression, sense of stigma, and rumination and increased in mindfulness, self-acceptance and quality of life over the 8 weeks. But the intervention group improved significantly more than the control group on all measures.

 

Previous research has shown that mindfulness training produces significant decreases in depression and rumination and increases in self-acceptance and quality of life. What is new here is that they found that the combination of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Loving Kindness Meditation was significantly more effective than the conventional psychological intervention. This is important but must be followed up to see if the improvements in the patients with depression are sustained over longer periods of time.

 

So, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) plus Loving-Kindness Mediation is highly effective in depressed patients.

 

MBCT leads to a decrease in depressive symptoms, reduction in depression relapse rate and improvement in terms of mindfulness.” – Zulkiflu ArgunguMusa

 

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

 

Wang, Y., Fu, C., Liu, Y., Li, D., Wang, C., Sun, R., & Song, Y. (2021). A study on the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and loving-kindness mediation on depression, rumination, mindfulness level and quality of life in depressed patients. American journal of translational research, 13(5), 4666–4675.

 

Abstract

Objective: To analyze the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) plus loving-kindness mediation (LKM) in depressed patients. Methods: A total of 125 depressed patients diagnosed in the Department of Psychiatry of our hospital were selected as the research subjects and were randomly divided into a control group (n=62) and an observation group (n=63). The control group was treated with conventional psychological intervention, while the observation group was treated with MBCT plus LKM. The therapeutic outcomes were compared between the two groups. Results: At 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks after intervention, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) scores and the scores for introspection and deliberation, forced thinking, rumination of symptoms, treatment, ability and social relationships in the observation group were lower than those in the control group, while Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) scores and the scores for psychology, environment, physiology, social relations, self-acceptance, and self-evaluation in the observation group were higher than those in the control group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: MBCT plus LKM can effectively improve depression, rumination, mindfulness level, quality of life, the sense of stigma and degree of self-acceptance in depressed patients.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205847/

 

Improve Depression with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Improve Depression with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“MBCT encourages individuals with [Major Depressive Disorder] to become more aware of their internal events (ie, thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations) and to change the ways in which they relate to these thoughts. For example, individuals are encouraged to view their thoughts as passing events in the mind, rather than treat them as reality. Disengaging from automatic negative cognitive patterns, such as rumination, reduces the future risk of relapse.” – Meagan MacKenzie

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment or relapsing is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs fail.

 

The most commonly used mindfulness technique for the treatment of depression is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).  MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting and walking meditation and body scan, and cognitive therapy to alter how the patient relates to the thought processes that often underlie and exacerbate psychological symptoms. MBCT has been shown to be as effective as antidepressant drugs in relieving the symptoms of depression and preventing depression reoccurrence and relapse. In addition, it appears to be effective as either a supplement to or a replacement for these drugs. The research has been accumulating. So, it is reasonable to take an overall look at what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in patients with depression: current perspectives.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6018485/ ) MacKenzie and colleagues review and summarize the published research on the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for depression.

 

They report that the published research studies demonstrate that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) produces significant decreases in current depression in patients with major depressive disorder and also significantly reduces the reoccurrence of depression in patients in remission. the research also found that MBCT produces these improvements in depression by increasing mindfulness, positive emotions and self-compassion and reducing rumination, negative emotions, and cognitive and emotional reactivity.

 

Hence, the published research has built a compelling case that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a safe and effective treatment for depression and its reoccurrence. It does so by altering a number of intermediaries that directly effect depression. MBCT should be recommended as a front-line treatment.

 

So, improve depression with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

 

meta-analyses have demonstrated the efficacy of MBCT for reducing depression symptoms in patients with current depression . . . MBCT has been shown to perform as well as other comparable evidence-based treatments.” – Alice Tickell

 

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

 

MacKenzie, M. B., Abbott, K. A., & Kocovski, N. L. (2018). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in patients with depression: current perspectives. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 14, 1599–1605. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S160761

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed to prevent relapse in individuals with depressive disorders. This widely used intervention has garnered considerable attention and a comprehensive review of current trends is warranted. As such, this review provides an overview of efficacy, mechanisms of action, and concludes with a discussion of dissemination. Results provided strong support for the efficacy of MBCT despite some methodological shortcomings in the reviewed literature. With respect to mechanisms of action, specific elements, such as mindfulness, repetitive negative thinking, self-compassion and affect, and cognitive reactivity have emerged as important mechanisms of change. Finally, despite a lack of widespread MBCT availability outside urban areas, research has shown that self-help variations are promising. Combined with findings that teacher competence may not be a significant predictor of treatment outcome, there are important implications for dissemination. Taken together, this review shows that while MBCT is an effective treatment for depression, continued research in the areas of efficacy, mechanisms of action, and dissemination are recommended.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6018485/

 

Reduce Stress and Anxiety about Covid-19 with Mindfulness

Reduce Stress and Anxiety about Covid-19 with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Even as states move forward with re-opening, the psychological consequences of coronavirus will be long-lasting. Mindfulness can be cultivated by anyone as one way to improve mental health amidst the uncertainty.” – Julie Dunn

 

Mindfulness training has been shown to improve health and well-being in healthy individuals. It has also been found to be effective for a large array of medical and psychiatric conditions, either stand-alone or in combination with more traditional therapies. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the mental and physical health of the population. It has created intense stress both for frontline workers but also for people simply isolating at home. Mindfulness is known to decrease the psychological and physical responses to stress. So, mindfulness training may be helpful in coping with the mental and physical challenges resulting from the stress produced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In today’s Research News article “Trait mindfulness is negatively associated with distress related to COVID-19.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062409/ ) Dillard and colleagues in their first study conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic, recruited healthy college students who had never been diagnosed with Covid-19 and had them complete measures of mindfulness, perceived stress, anxiety, worry about coronavirus, and their anticipated negative reactions to Covid-19 infection.

 

They found that the higher the levels of students’ mindfulness the lower the levels of perceived stress, anxiety, worry about coronavirus, and anticipated negative reactions to Covid-19 infection. These relationships were still significant even after accounting for the general health of the students.

 

In their second study conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic, they recruited healthy community adults aged between 25 and 73 years. They had them complete the same measures as in study 1, along with additional measures of depression and coping strategies. Similar to study 1, they found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the lower the levels of perceived stress, anxiety, worry about coronavirus, and anticipated negative reactions to Covid-19 infection and additionally, depression levels. These relationships were still significant even after accounting for the general health of the adults. They also found that the higher the levels of mindfulness the greater the use of positive coping strategies and the lower the use of negative coping strategies. Such as substance abuse and denial.

 

In many ways the present results replicate previous findings that mindfulness is associated with lower the levels of perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and worry and greater use of positive coping strategies, and better mental health during Covid-19. The present study finds these relationships between mindfulness and mental health specifically linked to Covid-19. They also suggest that mindfulness may produce better coping and this may be responsible for the better mental health.

 

The studies, however, were correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that mindfulness training may be helpful in producing better coping mechanisms to the stress of the pandemic, reducing the resultant mental health problems of both college students and older adults.

 

So, reduce stress and anxiety about Covid-19 with mindfulness.

 

With COVID-19 front and center of nearly every aspect of life . . . under the surface, many people are grieving the loss of their former lives. “It’s not just the kind of grief you feel when a loved one dies—it’s grief created by so much uncertainty. We liked the way things were.” – Yale Medicine

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

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

 

Study Summary

 

Dillard, A. J., & Meier, B. P. (2021). Trait mindfulness is negatively associated with distress related to COVID-19. Personality and individual differences, 179, 110955. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.110955

 

Abstract

Research suggests that mindfulness is associated with psychological health including a healthier response to stressors.

Objective

This research tested associations between trait mindfulness and mental health factors related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Methods

Two studies (Study 1 N = 248 college students; Study 2 N = 300 U.S adults) assessed trait mindfulness, perceived stress and anxiety, worry about the coronavirus, and anticipated negative affect of a coronavirus diagnosis. Additionally, Study 2 assessed depressive symptoms and coping with the coronavirus.

Results

In both studies, findings indicated that individuals higher in trait mindfulness reported less stress and anxiety. Higher mindfulness in both studies was also associated with less worry about the virus and anticipating less negative affect if one gets the virus. In Study 2, trait mindfulness was negatively related to depression, and numerous associations between mindfulness and coping emerged, showing higher trait mindfulness was associated with healthier strategies in coping with coronavirus.

Conclusions

These data are consistent with research that has revealed that those who think and act more mindfully are less stressed and anxious. By revealing these associations with mindfulness in the context of a real-world, novel stressor, this research makes an important contribution to the literature.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062409/

 

Improve Anxiety and Depression with an Abbreviated Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Improve Anxiety and Depression with an Abbreviated Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

People at risk for depression are dealing with a lot of negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs about themselves and this can easily slide into a depressive relapse. MBCT helps them to recognize that’s happening, engage with it in a different way and respond to it with equanimity and compassion.” – Willem Kuyken

 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults in the U.S., or 18% of the population. Depression affects over 6% of the population. And anxiety and depression often co-occur. Anxiety and depression are generally treated with drugs. But there are considerable side effects and these drugs are often abused. There are a number of psychological therapies for anxiety and depression. But, about 45% of the patients treated do not respond to the therapy. So, there is a need to develop alternative treatments.

 

Recently, it has been found that mindfulness training can be effective for anxiety disorders. Mindfulness has also been shown to be effective for depressionMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression and has been shown to be very effective. MBCT, however, is an 8-week program delivered in relatively small groups. It is not clear if a briefer program to larger groups might also be effective.

 

In today’s Research News article “A Brief Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Intervention as a Population-Level Strategy for Anxiety and Depression.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8057287/ )  Burgess and colleagues recruited adult patients with an anxiety or mood disorders and provided them with 5 weekly 2-hour group based session of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) with daily home practice. The group size was larger than the typical MBCT program (i.e., 16–20 participants rather than 12 participants) and meditation practice was reduced to 10-15 minutes compared to the traditional 40 minutes. They were measured before and after training for anxiety, depression, self-compassion, perceived stress, mental well-being, and disability.

 

They found that after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) there was significant reductions in anxiety, depression, worry, and acute distress, and significant increases in self-compassion and mental well-being. There were large clinically significant changes such that 50% of the patients had remissions of depression and 20% had remissions of anxiety.

 

It should be noted that there was no control condition in the present study. But previous controlled studies have routinely demonstrated that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) produces significant improvements in anxiety, depression, worry, distress, self-compassion, and mental well-being. So, the present results are unlikely to be due to confounding factors. The present study demonstrates that the significant benefits of MBCT can be produced with an abbreviated program delivered to a large group. This reduces the amount of time clinicians have to devote to the program, thereby reducing cost. It would also be likely that the abbreviated program would improve adherence to the program requirements and reduce drop-outs. This allows more patients at lower cost to have their suffering reduced.

 

So, improve anxiety and depression with an abbreviated Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is designed to help people who suffer repeated bouts of depression and chronic unhappiness. It combines the ideas of cognitive therapy with meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness. The heart of this work lies in becoming acquainted with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously learning to develop a new relationship to them.” – MBCT.com

 

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

 

Emilee E. Burgess, Steven Selchen, Benjamin D. Diplock, Neil A. Rector. A Brief Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Intervention as a Population-Level Strategy for Anxiety and Depression. Int J Cogn Ther. 2021 Apr 20 : 1–19. doi: 10.1007/s41811-021-00105-x

 

Abstract

Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have emerged as clinically effective interventions for anxiety and depression although there are significant barriers to their access in the general population. The present study examined the effectiveness of a 5-week abbreviated mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) intervention for a physician-referred, treatment-seeking, community sample (N = 54) with mood and/or anxiety symptom burden. Treatment effects demonstrated significant reductions in mood and anxiety symptom severity and significant increases in general well-being. Observed effect sizes were generally large, with high response and remission rates. The present study offers preliminary support that an abbreviated MBCT protocol can offer large treatment effects for decreasing mood and anxiety symptoms and could potentially offer an effective population-level strategy to improve cost-effectiveness and access to care.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8057287/

 

Mindfulness is Associated with Forgiveness and Reduced Anger Rumination

Mindfulness is Associated with Forgiveness and Reduced Anger Rumination

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

Forgiveness demands presence, reminding us that we are not the same as the feelings we possess in a given situation, nor is the person who we’ve harmed or who has harmed us.” – Sharon Salzberg.

 

Forgiveness is important to happiness and psychological well-being. It allows one to move beyond anger and resentment. It is an adaptive ability to move beyond a perceived transgression by another, not by ignoring or denying it, but by reframing it so the response moves away from negativity. This is true not only of others but also the self. Self-forgiveness is essential for psychological well-being. There is emerging research on forgiveness but much has yet to be explored regarding the processes that lead to and improve forgiveness. Mindfulness has been found to be associated with higher levels of forgiveness. So, it makes sense to explore the processes by which mindfulness is associated with forgiveness.

 

In today’s Research News article “Anger Rumination and Mindfulness: Mediating Effects on Forgiveness.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967311/ ) de la Fuente-Anuncibay and colleagues recruited university students who practiced mindfulness informally and those who were naïve to mindfulness practice. They completed measures of mindfulness, forgiveness, including self-forgiveness, forgiveness towards others and situation-forgiveness subscales, and anger, including angry or rage memories, understanding the causes of the anger, thoughts after the anger and thoughts of revenge subscales.

 

They found that the students who practiced mindfulness had significantly higher levels of forgiveness that those who didn’t. Further they found that mindfulness was associated with higher levels of forgiveness directly and also indirectly by being associated with lower levels of anger rumination which was in turn were associated with smaller reductions in forgiveness. Further analysis using the anger rumination subscales revealed that mindfulness was associated with decreased levels of anger revenge as opposed to anger memories.

 

This study is correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. Nevertheless, the associations are clear. Mindful people are more forgiving than less mindful people, and they also have a lower need for revenge for transgressions This lower revenge is also associated with forgiveness. Future research should investigate the effects of mindfulness training on anger and forgiveness to determine causation.

 

The results demonstrate as has previous research, that mindful people are forgiving people. This makes them better at social interactions as they are less likely to hold grudges. But importantly mindful people are also self-forgiving. This is extremely important for the mental health of the individual. Everyone is imperfect and makes mistakes. If this can be realized and the imperfections forgiven mental well-being can be vastly improved. Hence, mindful forgiveness is an important contributor to the overall happiness and well-being of the individual.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with forgiveness and reduced anger rumination.

 

the more you practice mindfulness, the more you strengthen your capacity for forgiveness.” – Stefanie Goldstein

 

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

 

de la Fuente-Anuncibay, R., González-Barbadillo, Á., Ortega-Sánchez, D., Ordóñez-Camblor, N., & Pizarro-Ruiz, J. P. (2021). Anger Rumination and Mindfulness: Mediating Effects on Forgiveness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(5), 2668. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052668

 

Abstract

(1) Background: Different investigations relate mindfulness practice as a strategy to cope with and improve negative repetitive thinking states and forgiveness. (2) Methods: The aim is to analyze the mediating processes of mindfulness as a trait and the changes in the anger rumination on forgiveness. This sample comprised 264 undergraduate students (M = 24.13 years, SD = 11.39). The instruments used were the Anger Rumination Scale (ARS), the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) and the Heartland Forgiveness Scale (HFS). For data analysis, the spillover effect was calculated using 10,000 bootstrap samples for the bootstrap confidence intervals (CI). (3) Conclusions: The results confirm that the relationship between mindfulness practice and forgiveness is mediated by changes in mindfulness trait and anger rumination. Given the results obtained, it is considered appropriate to extend the study to samples from other countries, as well as to contexts of depressive rumination or anxiety.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7967311/

 

rjpizarro@ubu.es

Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Stress and Improved Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Mindfulness is Associated with Lower Stress and Improved Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“By training your mind to be present, you can feel the benefits in your everyday life. It can be particularly helpful when facing challenges that Parkinson’s brings.” – Parkinson’s UK

 

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is an incurable progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system. The condition is caused by the death of nerve cells in the brain that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are around seven million people worldwide and one million people in the U.S. living with PD and about 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD every year. PD is associated with aging as the vast majority of patients are diagnosed after age 50. In fact, it has been speculated that everyone would eventually develop PD if they lived long enough.

 

Its physical symptoms include resting tremor, slow movements, muscle rigidity, problems with posture and balance, loss of automatic movements, and slurring of speech. PD itself is not fatal but is often associated with related complications which can reduce life expectancy, such as falls, choking, and cardiovascular problems. PD also has psychological effects, especially cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression. Balance is a particular problem as it effects mobility and increases the likelihood of falls, restricting activity and reducing quality of life.

 

There are no cures for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) or even treatments to slow its progression. There are only treatments that can produce symptomatic relief. So, there is a need to discover new and different treatments. Mindfulness training has been found to improve the psychological symptoms and the quality of life with PD patients.  If mindfulness is indeed a help to PD patients, then the relationship between mindfulness and PD symptoms should be present in everyday, real world, patients.

 

In today’s Research News article “Stress and mindfulness in Parkinson’s disease – a survey in 5000 patients.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813889/ ) van der Heide and colleagues sent online surveys to Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients and normal control participants. The surveys contained measures of mindfulness, self-compassion, perceived stress, rumination, Parkinson’s anxiety, and additional questions about PD symptoms, stress, and other factors associated with the disease.

 

They found that the Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients in comparison to controls had significantly lower levels of mindfulness and significantly higher levels stress, and depression. They also found that the higher the levels of stress that the PD patients reported the lower the levels of mindfulness, self-compassion and quality of life and the higher the levels of rumination and disease severity. When the patients were asked what strategies, they used to reduce stress they reported that they used exercise and mindfulness most often. The patients reported that mindfulness improved all of their symptoms, including tremor, gait, slowness of movement, dyskinesia, anxiety, depression, and sleeping problems. In addition, the more the patients used mindfulness, the better their symptoms.

 

These are interesting but correlational findings, so causation cannot be determined. But previous studies have shown the mindfulness training reduces stress and improves the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). So, the present associations are probably due to causal connections between mindfulness, stress, and PD symptoms. It appears that stress exacerbates PD symptoms and mindfulness reduces stress and PD symptoms. This further suggests that mindfulness practices should be taught to PD patients. This potentially would improve their well-being and reduce their suffering.

 

So, mindfulness is associated with lower stress and improved Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.

 

well-structured mindfulness programs have been proven to be quite effective in areas that directly affect Parkinson’s, such as reducing stress levels, combating depression, and refining body image.” – Matt Zepelin

 

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

 

van der Heide, A., Speckens, A., Meinders, M. J., Rosenthal, L. S., Bloem, B. R., & Helmich, R. C. (2021). Stress and mindfulness in Parkinson’s disease – a survey in 5000 patients. NPJ Parkinson’s disease, 7(1), 7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41531-020-00152-9

 

Abstract

Many Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients notice that motor symptoms worsen during stress, and experience stress-related neuropsychiatric symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Here we investigated which personal and disease characteristics are associated with perceived stress in PD, which PD symptoms are sensitive to stress, and we assessed self-reported benefits of stress-reducing strategies such as mindfulness. We sent an online survey to the Fox Insight cohort (n = 28,385 PD patients, n = 11,413 healthy controls). The survey included specific questions about the influence of stress on PD symptoms, use of stress-reducing strategies, and several validated scales measuring perceived stress, anxiety, dispositional mindfulness, rumination, and self-compassion. We received completed surveys from 5000 PD patients and 1292 controls. Patients perceived more stress than controls. Among patients, stress was correlated with increased rumination (R = 0.65), lower quality of life (R = −0.56), lower self-compassion (R = −0.65), and lower dispositional mindfulness (R = −0.48). Furthermore, patients indicated that stress significantly worsened both motor symptoms – especially tremor – and non-motor symptoms. Physical exercise was most frequently used to reduce stress (83.1%). Mindfulness was practiced by 38.7% of PD respondents, who noticed improvement in both motor and non-motor symptoms. Among non-users, 43.4% were interested in gaining mindfulness skills. We conclude that PD patients experience greater levels of stress than controls, and that stress worsens both motor and non-motor symptoms. Mindfulness may improve PD symptom severity, with the strongest effects on anxiety and depressed mood. These findings justify further controlled studies to establish the merits of mindfulness and other stress-alleviating interventions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813889/

Improve Major Depression in the Real World with Mindfulness

Improve Major Depression in the Real World with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Depression is not only the most common mental illness, it’s also one of the most tenacious. Up to 80 percent of people who experience a major depressive episode may relapse. Drugs may lose their effectiveness over time, if they work at all. But a growing body of research is pointing to an intervention that appears to help prevent relapse by altering thought patterns without side effects: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, or MBCT.” – Stacy Lu

 

Clinically diagnosed depression is the most common mental illness, affecting over 6% of the population. Major depression can be quite debilitating. Depression can be difficult to treat and is usually treated with anti-depressive medication. But, of patients treated initially with drugs, only about a third attained remission of the depression. After repeated and varied treatments including drugs, therapy, exercise etc. only about two thirds of patients attained remission. But drugs often have troubling side effects and can lose effectiveness over time. In addition, many patients who achieve remission have relapses and recurrences of the depression. Even after remission some symptoms of depression may still be present (residual symptoms).

 

Being depressed and not responding to treatment is a terribly difficult situation. The patients are suffering and nothing appears to work to relieve their intense depression. Suicide becomes a real possibility. So, it is imperative that other treatments be identified that can relieve the suffering. Mindfulness training is an alternative treatment for depression. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for depression and its recurrence and even in the cases where drugs failMindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) was specifically developed to treat depression. MBCT involves mindfulness training, containing sitting, walking and body scan meditations, and cognitive therapy that attempts to teach patients to distinguish between thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors, and to recognize irrational thinking styles and how they affect behavior. MBCT has been found to be effective in treating depression.

 

Most of the research studies that have examined the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for depression were conducted in controlled laboratory settings. But the real world of therapeutic interventions are less consistent and much more complex and messy. This raises the question as to how effective MBCT may be for the treatment of major depression in real world.

 

In today’s Research News article “The effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for major depressive disorder: evidence from routine outcome monitoring data.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7745235/ ) Geurts and colleagues recruited patients with major depressive disorder who had received treatment with Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Their psychiatric diagnosis was recorded and before and after treatment they completed measures of mindfulness, depression, worry, and self-compassion.

 

They found that after treatment the patients had significant increases in mindfulness and self-compassion and significant decreases in depression and worry. The also found that the greater the increases in mindfulness and self-compassion and decreases in worry, the greater the decreases in depression. They found that having a job mattered as those patients who had employment had significantly greater reductions in depression than the unemployed.

 

These findings are in line with those in more controlled lab studies of significant improvements in major depressive disorder produced by Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). The importance of the present studies is that they demonstrate that similar improvement occur in real world clinical settings. Finally, they suggest that MBCT may increase mindfulness and self-compassion and decrease worry and these improvements are associated with greater relief of depression.

 

So, improve major depression in the real world with mindfulness.

 

“Still, there are a handful of key areas — including depression, chronic pain, and anxiety — in which well-designed, well-run studies have shown benefits for patients engaging in a mindfulness meditation program, with effects similar to other existing treatments.”Alvin Powell

 

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

 

Geurts, D., Compen, F. R., Van Beek, M., & Speckens, A. (2020). The effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for major depressive disorder: evidence from routine outcome monitoring data. BJPsych open, 6(6), e144. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.118

 

Abstract

Background

Meta-analyses show efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in terms of relapse prevention and depressive symptom reduction in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, most studies have been conducted in controlled research settings.

Aims

We aimed to investigate the effectiveness of MBCT in patients with MDD presenting in real-world clinical practice. Moreover, we assessed whether guideline recommendations for MBCT allocation in regard to recurrence and remission status of MDD hold in clinical practice.

Method

This study assessed a naturalistic cohort of patients with (recurrent) MDD, either current or in remission (n = 765), who received MBCT in a university hospital out-patient clinic in The Netherlands. Outcome measures were self-reported depressive symptoms, worry, mindfulness skills and self-compassion. Predictors were MDD recurrence and remission status, and clinical and sociodemographic variables. Outcome and predictor analyses were conducted with linear regression.

Results

MBCT adherence was high (94%). Patients with a lower level of education had a higher chance of non-adherence. Attending more sessions positively influenced improvement in depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms significantly reduced from pre- to post-MBCT (Δ mean = 7.7, 95%CI = 7.0–8.5, Cohen’s d = 0.75). Improvement of depressive symptoms was independent from MDD recurrence and remission status. Unemployed patients showed less favourable outcomes. Worry, mindfulness skills and self-compassion all significantly improved. These improvements were related to changes in depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

Previous efficacy results in controlled research settings are maintained in clinical practice. Results illustrate that MBCT is effective in routine clinical practice for patients suffering from MDD, irrespective of MDD recurrence and remission status.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7745235/

 

Improve Psychological Health with a Self-Guided, Smartphone-Based Mindfulness App

Improve Psychological Health with a Self-Guided, Smartphone-Based Mindfulness App

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Another part of the appeal of smartphone-based apps is their anonymity. “The apps also allow for privacy and confidentiality and can be a safe space for individuals who may be too ashamed to admit their mental health issues in person or who may feel that they will be negatively labeled or stigmatized by others,” – Sal Raichback

 

Mindfulness training has been shown through extensive research to be effective in improving physical and psychological health. But 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 with smartphone apps has 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 via smartphone apps can be effective for improving the health and well-being of the participants.

 

In today’s Research News article “Testing the Efficacy of a Multicomponent, Self-Guided, Smartphone-Based Meditation App: Three-Armed Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR mental health.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732708/ ) Goldberg and colleagues recruited adults who did not have extensive meditation experience and randomly assigned them to a wait-list control condition or to receive either of 2 8-week smartphone app mindfulness training with the Healthy Minds Program. They received 4 weeks of awareness training including awareness of breathing and awareness of sounds. They were then again randomly assigned to receive 4 weeks of either Connection training consisting or gratitude and kindness practices or Insight Training consisting of “the changing nature of the phenomenon (ie, impermanence) and examining how thoughts and emotions influence perception” practices. They were measured before after the first 4-week module and after the second 4-week module for mindfulness, psychological distress, perceived stress, interpersonal connections, interpersonal reactivity, compassion, self-reflection, rumination, and defusion.

 

They found that compared to baseline and the wait-list control group both intervention conditions produced significant increases in mindfulness, social connection, self-reflection and defusion and significant decreases in psychological distress, and rumination with no significant differences between the smartphone interventions. There were no differences between the wait-list controls and the intervention in compassion and empathy.

 

These are interesting findings that correspond to the finding in prior research that training the increases mindfulness produces significant increases in social connection, self-reflection and defusion and significant decreases in psychological distress, and rumination. They demonstrate that smartphone trainings that improve mindfulness produce improvement in the psychological health of the participants.

 

It was a bit surprising that the benefits of the awareness plus connection training did not significantly differ from the benefits of awareness plus insight training. But since both trainings equivalently higher mindfulness and increased mindfulness has been shown to produce these benefits, it is reasonable to conclude that any training the improves mindfulness will improve psychological health..

 

So, improve psychological health with a self-guided, smartphone-based mindfulness App.

 

Using a smartphone app, may provide immediate effects on mood and stress while also providing long-term benefits for attentional control. . . there is evidence that with continued usage, [mindfulness training] via a smartphone app may provide long-term benefits in changing how one relates to their inner and outer experiences.” – Kathleen Marie Walsh

 

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

 

Goldberg, S. B., Imhoff-Smith, T., Bolt, D. M., Wilson-Mendenhall, C. D., Dahl, C. J., Davidson, R. J., & Rosenkranz, M. A. (2020). Testing the Efficacy of a Multicomponent, Self-Guided, Smartphone-Based Meditation App: Three-Armed Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR mental health, 7(11), e23825. https://doi.org/10.2196/23825

 

Abstract

Background

A growing number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) suggest psychological benefits associated with meditation training delivered via mobile health. However, research in this area has primarily focused on mindfulness, only one of many meditative techniques.

Objective

This study aims to evaluate the efficacy of 2 versions of a self-guided, smartphone-based meditation app—the Healthy Minds Program (HMP)—which includes training in mindfulness (Awareness), along with practices designed to cultivate positive relationships (Connection) or insight into the nature of the self (Insight).

Methods

A three-arm, fully remote RCT compared 8 weeks of one of 2 HMP conditions (Awareness+Connection and Awareness+Insight) with a waitlist control. Adults (≥18 years) without extensive previous meditation experience were eligible. The primary outcome was psychological distress (depression, anxiety, and stress). Secondary outcomes were social connection, empathy, compassion, self-reflection, insight, rumination, defusion, and mindfulness. Measures were completed at pretest, midtreatment, and posttest between October 2019 and April 2020. Longitudinal data were analyzed using intention-to-treat principles with maximum likelihood.

Results

A total of 343 participants were randomized and 186 (54.2%) completed at least one posttest assessment. The majority (166/228, 72.8%) of those assigned to HMP conditions downloaded the app. The 2 HMP conditions did not differ from one another in terms of changes in any outcome. Relative to the waitlist control, the HMP conditions showed larger improvements in distress, social connectedness, mindfulness, and measures theoretically linked to insight training (d=–0.28 to 0.41; Ps≤.02), despite modest exposure to connection- and insight-related practice. The results were robust to some assumptions about nonrandom patterns of missing data. Improvements in distress were associated with days of use. Candidate mediators (social connection, insight, rumination, defusion, and mindfulness) and moderators (baseline rumination, defusion, and empathy) of changes in distress were identified.

Conclusions

This study provides initial evidence of efficacy for the HMP app in reducing distress and improving outcomes related to well-being, including social connectedness. Future studies should attempt to increase study retention and user engagement.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7732708/

 

Attachment Insecurity Lowers Mindfulness and Increases Rumination Which Heightens Conflict

Attachment Insecurity Lowers Mindfulness and Increases Rumination Which Heightens Conflict

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“Mindfulness, which has been shown to help mental, behavioral, and physical outcomes in both youth and adults, is a powerful tool that can help us respond to conflict in a non-reactive way.”Whitney Stuart

 

Relationships can be difficult as two individuals can and do frequently disagree or misunderstand one another. These conflicts can produce strong emotions and it is important to be able to regulate these emotions in order to keep them from interfering with rational solutions to the conflict. In fact, it has been asserted that the inability to resolve conflicts underlies the majority of divorces. Mindfulness may be helpful in navigating disputes, as it has been shown to improve the emotion regulation and reduce the repetitive thinking about the conflict, rumination. Indeed, mindfulness has been shown to improve relationships. So, mindfulness training may improve the ability to resolve conflict

 

Attachment has been shown to affect the individual’s well-being. There are a variety of ways that individuals attach to others. The particular strategies are thought to develop during childhood through attachments to caregivers. They are secure, insecure, avoidant, ambivalent, fearful, preoccupied, and disorganized attachment styles. Secure attachment style is healthy and leads to positive development while all of the others are maladaptive and unhealthy. These can lead to psychological difficulties and interfere with the individual’s ability to relate to others and resolve conflict.

 

The relationships between attachment style, mindfulness, rumination, and conflict have not been previously studied. In today’s Research News article “Being in the Moment So You Can Keep Moving Forward: Mindfulness and Rumination Mediate the Relationship between Attachment Orientations and Negative Conflict Styles.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7559327/ ) Quickert and MacDonald recruited college students and had them complete measures of attachment orientation, experiential avoidance, relationship satisfaction, relationship mindfulness, romantic partner conflict styles, rumination, and mindfulness.

 

They found that the higher the levels of general mindfulness and relationship mindfulness the lower the levels of experiential avoidance, attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, rumination, and relationship rumination. In addition, the higher the levels of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance the higher the levels of experiential avoidance, rumination, and relationship rumination. Finally, the higher the levels of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance the higher the levels of the conflict styles of avoidance, interactional reactivity, separation, domination and submission, and the lower the levels of relationship satisfaction. Performing a mediation analyses they discovered that mindfulness and rumination mediated the negative relationship between attachment insecurity and negative conflict styles, such that the higher the levels of attachment insecurity the lower the levels of mindfulness and the higher the levels of rumination which, in turn, were associated with higher levels of negative conflict styles.

 

It should be noted that this study is correlational and as such causation cannot be determined. Also, only relatively young college students were employed which limits the generalizability of the results. Nevertheless, the study suggests thar insecure attachment is related to poor conflict styles and that relationship occurs because of insecure attachment’s relationships with higher rumination and lower mindfulness.

 

It can be speculated that being mindful in a relationship leads to less worry and rumination and to better ability to deal with conflict. It can also be speculated that having attachment insecurity tends to disrupt this relationship. All in all, it may be that mindfulness can improve relationships, reducing conflict.

 

So, attachment insecurity lowers mindfulness and increases rumination which heightens conflict.

 

“Mindfulness skills have been shown to help with conflict management by decreasing self-centered focus, allowing for more collaborative dialogue, breaking the vicious cycle of automatic thoughts/feelings/behaviors that contribute to unproductive conversations, increasing emotional awareness of self and others, which promotes connection and understanding, strengthening attention and non-judgmental awareness, which can foster flexible and innovative problem-solving.” – Taylor Rush

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

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

 

Study Summary

 

Quickert, R. E., & MacDonald, T. K. (2020). Being in the Moment So You Can Keep Moving Forward: Mindfulness and Rumination Mediate the Relationship between Attachment Orientations and Negative Conflict Styles. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(18), 6472. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186472

 

Abstract

Attachment insecurity has been associated with negative behaviors during conflict and decreased relationship satisfaction. We theorize that individuals high in attachment anxiety and/or avoidance are less mindful during conflict with their romantic partners, and thus more likely to ruminate. Decreased mindfulness and higher levels of rumination may be important mechanisms in the relationship between attachment insecurity and conflict behavior, as it may be more difficult to engage in constructive problem-solving skills when one is distracted from the present moment. We conducted an online survey assessing 360 participants’ attachment orientations, levels of mindfulness and rumination, behavior during conflict, and experience with mindfulness activities. Using a serial mediation model, we found that mindfulness and rumination mediated the relationship between attachment insecurity and negative conflict behaviors. We further discovered that individuals high in attachment insecurity were more likely to report negative experiences with mindfulness activities (i.e., meditation and yoga), and that this relationship was mediated by higher levels of experiential avoidance, or a fear of engaging with one’s own thoughts and feelings. We discuss the importance of increasing mindfulness and decreasing both rumination and experiential avoidance to assist individuals high in attachment insecurity in navigating relationship conflict using more constructive and relationship-promoting strategies.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7559327/

 

Mindfulness Improves the Psychological Health of Arab Teachers

Mindfulness Improves the Psychological Health of Arab Teachers

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“thousands of schools across the country that is bringing mindfulness into the classroom. Growing numbers of teachers, parents, and children are reaping the benefits that learning mindfulness—can bring, including reduced levels of stress and anxiety, increased focus and self-regulation, and improved academic performance and sleep, among others.” – Caren Osten Gerszberg

 

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. 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. But there are very few studies of the effects of mindfulness training for teachers cultures other than western and oriental and virtually none in Arab cultures.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of a Mindfulness Intervention Among Arab Teachers Are Mediated by Decentering: A Pilot Study.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.542986/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1456740_69_Psycho_20201013_arts_A ) Berkovich-Ohana and colleagues recruited Arab elementary school teachers from 2 different schools. The teachers in one school underwent a 30-hour 3-month mindfulness training program tailored for teachers while the teacher in the other underwent a 30-hour 6-month training program on teaching for understanding. The teachers were measured before and after the training programs for perceived stress, decentering, rumination, emotion regulation, including cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression subscales, and mindfulness.

 

They found that the mindfulness group significantly increased in mindfulness and emotion regulation compared to baseline while the control group significantly decreased in mindfulness and emotion regulation. They also found that the mindfulness group had significant increases in decentering and decreases in perceived stress while the control group did not. In addition, while both groups significantly decreased in rumination, the mindfulness group had a significantly greater decrease.

 

Mindfulness training has been well established in western and oriental cultures to produces increased emotion regulation and decentering and decreased rumination and perceived stress. The present results extend these findings to Arab teachers. This leads to the conclusion that mindfulness training is beneficial for the psychological health of teachers regardless of culture. Mindfulness training appears to be helpful in lowering the stress levels of school teachers generally. Although not measured in the present study it would be expected that this would lead to decreased burnout and better classroom performance by the teachers.

 

So, mindfulness improves the psychological health of Arab teachers.

 

Practicing mindfulness can help teachers to recognize our emotional patterns and proactively regulate how we behave, responding in the way we want to rather than reacting automatically. It can also help us to savor the positive moments in our job—when we feel the joy of true connection with our students or resonate with the joy and excitement our students feel when learning clicks for them.” – Patricia A. Jennings 

 

 

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

 

Berkovich-Ohana A, Lavy S and Shanboor K (2020) Effects of a Mindfulness Intervention Among Arab Teachers Are Mediated by Decentering: A Pilot Study. Front. Psychol. 11:542986. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.542986

 

Although mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in education are widely spreading in the world, examination of mindfulness effects in Arab schools is still scarce. This pilot study aimed to fill this gap by examining the effects of an MBI among Arab teachers in Israel. This examination was conducted within the framework of the mindful self in school relationships (MSSR) model, which suggests that the positive effects of MBI on teachers’ emotion regulation are mediated by decentering. The participants (N = 39) were teachers from two Arab elementary schools in Israel, who underwent an MBI course (the MBI condition, N = 20) and another cognitive intervention (the control condition, N = 19). In a pre–post design, participants completed mindfulness, decentering, emotion regulation, and stress questionnaires. We hypothesized that (1) only in the MBI group, teachers’ mindfulness, decentering, and emotional regulation will increase and stress will decrease, and (2) changes in teachers’ decentering would mediate the associations of changes in teachers’ mindfulness with changes in their emotion regulation. ANOVA analyses show that, only in the MBI condition, teachers showed an increase in three mindfulness subscales (acting with awareness, non-reactivity, and observance), in decentering, and in adaptive emotion regulation (reappraisal) and a decrease in stress. Furthermore, changes from pre-intervention to post-intervention in teachers’ decentering mediated the associations of their pre–post changes in mindfulness with changes in emotion regulation. This study provides initial support to the feasibility and efficacy of MBI among Israeli Arab teachers and suggests decentering as a potential mediator of its effects in initial support of the MSSR model.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.542986/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1456740_69_Psycho_20201013_arts_A