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Health care workers’ experiences of mindfulness training: a qualitative review

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2015
Issue number4
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)744-758
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date5/06/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Evidence is accumulating that mindfulness training is useful in reducing stress for health care workers and may increase the quality of their interactions with patients. To evaluate how health care workers experience mindfulness training, a review was conducted, synthesising published qualitative papers on the experiences of health care workers currently practising or those in clinical training who had attended mindfulness training. A systematic search yielded 14 relevant studies. Quality appraisal using the Critical Appraisal Skills programme tool identified that four studies were of a lower quality, and as they did not contribute uniquely to the analysis, they were omitted from the review. The synthesis describes health care workers’ experiences of overcoming challenges to practice in mindfulness training, such as shifting focus from caring for others to self-care, leading to an experiential understanding of mindfulness and a new relationship to experience. Perceived benefits of mindfulness training ranged from increased personal wellbeing and self-compassion to enhanced presence when relating to others, leading to enhanced compassion and a sense of shared humanity. Outcomes are discussed in terms of training focus and participant motivation, clinical and theoretical implications and avenues for further research.