AbstractsSocial Work

The meaning of mindfulness in Western clinical practice: a grounded theory approach

by Renee Harrell

Institution: California State University – Sacramento
Department: Social Work
Degree: MSW
Year: 2015
Keywords: Mindfulness; MBCT; symbolic interaction; Therapy; evidence based
Record ID: 2061360
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/139499


The purpose of this study was to extend the dialogue regarding the definition and application of mindfulness to Western clinical practices by critically analyzing the research within the last 35 years that identified ???mindfulness??? as a component of practice. This researchers intention was to determine: (1) What, if any, are the emergent trends within the arenas of Western clinical practice, specifically medicine, education, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and neuroscience in which Mindfulness Based Interventions (MBIs) have been being practiced and researched? (2) Which MBIs meet scientific research inclusion criteria (peer-reviewed and randomized control trials) and which MBI has the most significant number of returns? (3) Are researchers employing and accurately measuring the MBI identified in the research protocol? Key terms were searched using the electronic database, Academic Search Premiere. Only peer-reviewed studies from 1979 through February 21, 2015 were searched resulting in 3,002 relevant articles to be included in the study. A search of the term ???mindfulness??? along with other specified search terms were used to identify emergent trends within the arenas of medicine, education, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and neuroscience. Results from the content analysis were used to illuminate which MBI had the most significant number of returns. Based on these results, MBIs were isolated and a meta-analysis framework used to determine if in fact, researchers employed and accurately measured the MBI identified in the research protocol. Results indicate emergent trends in the following areas of Western clinical practice: medicine, education, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, and neuroscience. Social work is experiencing the greatest amount of growth in the use of mindfulness in the past five years at a rate of 78%. Content analysis of existent literature revealed the MBI being studied the most in peer-reviewed literature is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). A meta-analysis framework was used to identify four MBCT studies meeting the criteria for inclusion for meta-analysis. The meta-analysis of MBCT for the treatment of depression looked at: adherence to the treatment protocol using the 17-item MBCT-AS scale, results measuring mindfulness, and published results measuring depression pre and post intervention. Of the four studies, no study reported adequate data for all three measures. Despite its popular usage, however, few randomized controlled trials exist with strict eligibility criteria and adequate measures that validate the use of this intervention as effective or appropriate with the populations to which they are being directed.