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Description: You cannot have missed the multitude of posts, offers and claims out there regarding the value of Mindfulness. Learning how to be more present in our current moments has been suggested as a way of focusing attention, reducing anxiety, and avoiding stress. But what about the data? Does it support the claims? And more importantly, should doctors start to prescribe Mindfulness practices and training and if they are contemplating doing so what sort of research would we need to see to support such a practice and how would we define Mindfulness for the purpose of such research? In the UK physicians can now write social prescriptions for things like gardening classes for patients who might experience health benefits from such things so perhaps we need o figure out how we will demonstrate effectiveness and how we will define things like dosage and treatment specificity? Get your researcher cap on and think about this and then read the article linked below for another’s thoughts on the subject.

Source: Can Mindfulness Evolve From Wellness Pursuit to Medical Treatment? Kim Tingley, Studies Show, The New York Times Magazine.

Date: January 22, 2020

Photo Credit:  John Hain from Pixabay 

Article Link:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/magazine/can-mindfulness-evolve-from-wellness-pursuit-to-medical-treatment.html

So, do you have a feel now for how complicated the task of operationalizing (defining and specifying for research measurement purposes) Mindfulness training and experience is going to be? That does not mean we should dismiss it as unresearchable as there is a LOT to be learned and a LOT of potential benefit to figuring out just what works, how, when and for what in relation to Mindfulness practices. More research IS needed but figuring out how to design and execute that research is going to be very challenging.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Should we be working on research into the effectiveness of Mindfulness practices?
  2. What are some of the challenges to designing research into Mindfulness?
  3. What might be some of the variables we will need to define if we want to know what sort of Mindfulness training or practice works for what sort of health issues and for whom?

References (Read Further):

Loucks, E. B., Nardi, W. R., Gutman, R., Kronish, I. M., Saadeh, F. B., Li, Y., … & Britton, W. B. (2019). Mindfulness-Based Blood Pressure Reduction (MB-BP): Stage 1 single-arm clinical trial. PloS one, 14(11). https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?type=printable&id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223095

Ludwig, D. S., & Kabat-Zinn, J. (2008). Mindfulness in medicine. Jama, 300(11), 1350-1352.

Mrazek, M. D., Franklin, M. S., Phillips, D. T., Baird, B., & Schooler, J. W. (2013). Mindfulness training improves working memory capacity and GRE performance while reducing mind wandering. Psychological science, 24(5), 776-781. https://www.idc.ac.il/he/accesability/Documents/mrazek.pdf

Greeson, J. M. (2009). Mindfulness research update: 2008. Complementary health practice review, 14(1), 10-18. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1533210108329862

Creswell, J. D. (2017). Mindfulness interventions. Annual review of psychology, 68, 491-516. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-psych-042716-051139

Buchholz, L. (2015). Exploring the promise of mindfulness as medicine. Jama, 314(13), 1327-1329.

Van Dam, N. T., van Vugt, M. K., Vago, D. R., Schmalzl, L., Saron, C. D., Olendzki, A., … & Fox, K. C. (2018). Mind the hype: A critical evaluation and prescriptive agenda for research on mindfulness and meditation. Perspectives on psychological science, 13(1), 36-61. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1745691617709589

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