Mindful with your baby

Potharst, Eva, et al. “Mindful with Your Baby: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Effects of a Mindful Parenting Group Training for Mothers and Their Babies in a Mental Health Context.” Mindfulness, first online 13 Apr 2017, DOI: 10.1007/s12671-017-0699-9. Full text.

From the Abstract: Many mothers experience difficulties after the birth of a baby. Mindful parenting may have benefits for mothers and babies, because it can help mothers regulate stress, and be more attentive towards themselves and their babies, which may have positive effects on their responsivity.

This study examined the effectiveness of . . . an 8-week mindful parenting group training for mothers with their babies. The presence of the babies provides on-the-spot practicing opportunities and facilitates generalization of what is learned. Forty-four mothers with their babies (0–18 months), who were referred to a mental health clinic because of elevated stress or mental health problems of the mother, infant (regulation) problems, or mother-infant interaction problems, participated in 10 groups, each comprising of three to six mother-baby dyads.

Questionnaires were administered at pretest, post-test, 8-week follow-up, and 1-year follow-up. Dropout rate was 7%. At post-test, 8-week follow-up, and 1-year follow-up, a significant improvement was seen in mindfulness, self-compassion, mindful parenting, (medium to large effects), as well as in well-being, psychopathology, parental confidence, responsivity, and hostility (small to large effects).

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Cultivating teacher mindfulness

Crain, T. L., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Roeser, R. W. (2016). Cultivating Teacher Mindfulness: Effects of a Randomized Controlled Trial on Work, Home, and Sleep Outcomes. Full text ahead of inclusion in an issue.

From the abstract: The effects of randomization to a workplace mindfulness training (WMT) or a waitlist control condition on teachers’ well-being (moods and satisfaction at work and home), quantity of sleep, quality of sleep, and sleepiness during the day were examined in 2 randomized, waitlist controlled trials (RCTs).

The combined sample of the 2 RCTs, conducted in Canada and the United States, included 113 elementary and secondary school teachers (89% female). Measures were collected at baseline, postprogram, and 3-month follow-up; teachers were randomly assigned to condition after baseline assessment.

Results showed that teachers randomized to WMT reported less frequent bad moods at work and home, greater satisfaction at work and home, more sleep on weekday nights, better quality sleep, and decreased insomnia symptoms and daytime sleepiness.

Parents of children with ASD

Rayan, A., & Ahmad, M. (2016). Effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions on quality of life and positive reappraisal coping among parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 55. 185–196. Published online. Abstract and tables.

Highlights

  1. (QOL) is considered a critical outcome for measuring the effectiveness of intervention programs for parents of children with (ASD).
  2. To date, little is known about the effectiveness of MBI on QOL and coping in parents of children with ASD.
  3. MBI can improve psychological and social domains of QOL and enhance coping in parents of children with ASD.
  4. Parents who non-judgmentally respond to their children are expected to report better QOL and positive stress reappraisal coping.
  5. The MBI should be considered as a supportive intervention to help parents of children with ASD.

ASD = autism spectrum disorder
MBI = mindfulness-based interventions
QOL = quality of life

Social workers taking care of … themselves.

Bloomquist, K. R., et al. (2015). Self-care and Professional Quality of Life: Predictive Factors among MSW Practitioners. Advances in Social Work, 16(2), 292-311. Full text.

ABSTRACT. This study explored the effects of self-care practices and perceptions on positive and negative indicators of professional quality of life, including burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion satisfaction among MSW practitioners. Results reveal that while social workers value and believe self-care is effective in alleviating job-related stress, they engage in self-care on a limited basis. Findings indicate that MSW programs and employers do not teach social workers how to effectively engage in self-care practice. Various domains of self-care practice contribute differently to indicators of professional quality of life.

This study sheds light on the under-studied relationship between social worker self-care and professional quality of life, provides insight into the type of activities practiced and not practiced by MSW practitioners, and identifies gaps between perceived value and effective teaching of self-care. Implications exist for social work educators and employers and the potential to support a healthier, sustainable workforce.

Stress among adolescents

Volanen, S. M., Hankonen, N., Knittle, K., Beattie, M., Salo, G., & Suominen, S. (2015). Building resilience among adolescents: First Results of a school-based mindfulness intervention. The European Journal of Public Health, 25(suppl 3), ckv168-056.

Excerpts. In Finland, 15–25% of adolescents suffer from mental health problems, and there is increasing concern over stress-related mental health problems. There is initial evidence that mindfulness (MF) interventions might hold some promise. For MF interventions to have the intended effects, it is critical that participants continue practice of MF after the program.

Results: 49% of students reported having practiced MF at home after six months. Overall, descriptive norms (i.e. beliefs about what their peers were doing) were the greatest predictor of MF practice. Students who continued practice of MF at home six months after the intervention reported the following benefits: better concentration in class (79%); better concentration on hobbies (76%); managing stress better (69%); coping better with difficult emotions (77%); sleeping better (79%); getting better grades in exams (75%); getting along better with friends (85%); and getting along better with family members (84%).

Treatment of smoking (a systematic review)

de Souza, I. C. W., at al. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for the Treatment of Smoking: A Systematic Literature Review. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. From the Abstract. Epub ahead of print.

Objectives: Smoking is a chronic process in which craving and negative affect are considered the main barriers to maintaining abstinence in patients who have gone through treatment. Mindfulness-based interventions have presented encouraging preliminary results in follow-up lasting up to 6 months. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic literature review on the effects of mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of smoking.

Methods: Of 198 articles on mindfulness and smoking, 13 controlled empirical studies were selected for the analysis. … All articles reported promising results, especially for smoking cessation, relapse prevention, number of cigarettes smoked, the moderation of mindfulness on the strength of relationship between craving and smoking, and the development of coping strategies to deal with triggers to smoke.

Conclusions: Mindfulness appears to induce positive effects on mental health, which might contribute to the maintenance of tobacco abstinence. Despite the promising results regarding the responses of tobacco smokers to mindfulness-based interventions, additional well-designed clinical studies are needed.

Novel intervention reduces work-related stress

Grégoire, S., & Lachance, L. (2014). Evaluation of a Brief Mindfulness-Based Intervention to Reduce Psychological Distress in the Workplace. Mindfulness, 1-12.

From the Abstract. Employees of a call center working for a financial institution took part in a brief mindfulness-based intervention (MBI). Each day, during five consecutive weeks, they listened to two short guided meditation sessions using a headset at their workstation (10 min in the morning and 5 min after lunch). A pretest-post-test switching-replication design was used to assess changes in mindfulness, psychological distress, and client satisfaction over the course of the intervention.

The results showed that mindfulness increased while psychological distress (stress, anxiety/depression, fatigue, and negative affect) decreased for all employees throughout the intervention, especially among those with low mindfulness scores at baseline. The satisfaction level of the employees’ internal clients significantly increased over time, although the effect size was small.

This article contributes to the field of mindfulness at work by (1) introducing a novel MBI specifically designed for call centers, (2) assessing the impact of the intervention on client satisfaction, and (3) doing so using a research design and a statistical technique which have never been used in mindfulness studies.