Mindfulness

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 289–295 | Cite as

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Mental Health Professionals—a Pilot Study

  • Florian A. Ruths
  • Nicole de Zoysa
  • Sonya J. Frearson
  • Jane Hutton
  • J. Mark G. Williams
  • James Walsh
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

We investigated the adherence of mental health professionals to a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programme as well as the impact of MBCT on mindful awareness and attention, psychological well-being and distress, state and trait anxiety, worry and satisfaction with life. The design comprised of a prospective uncontrolled intervention study with pre- and post-measurements of meditation adherence and measures of psychological well-being. Twenty-seven mental health professionals participated in an 8-week MBCT programme for relapse prevention of depression, modified for healthy individuals. Their homework, mindful awareness and attention (Mindful Awareness and Attention Scale), general psychological well-being (General Health Questionnaire), state and trait anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), satisfaction with life (Satisfaction with Life Scale), general psychopathology (Brief Symptom Inventory) as well as worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire) were measured at week 1 and 8 during the intervention and at week 20 as follow-up. Twenty four of 27 (88 %) mental health professionals completed the course and were included in the analysis. Of these, 75 % (18 of 24) were female with a mean age of 36 years and a mean experience in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) of 6 years. Sixty-three per cent (15 of 24) reported continued practice at 20-week follow-up. A statistically significant improvement of mindful awareness and psychological well-being, with significant reduction in worry, trait anxiety and general psychopathology, was observed in participants who continued some form of meditation practice during the follow-up period. The majority of mental health professionals adhered to the MBCT meditation practice, and the more they practised mindfulness meditation, the more they experienced an increase in mindful awareness and attention, general psychological well-being and a decrease in general psychopathology, trait anxiety and worry.

Keywords

Mindfulness Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Mental health professionals Meditation Training 

References

  1. Astin, J. A. (1997). Stress reduction through mindfulness meditation. Effects on psychological symptomatology, sense of control, and spiritual experiences. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 66(2), 97–106.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baer, R. A. (2006). Mindfulness-based treatment approaches: clinician's guide to evidence base and applications. San Diego: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  3. Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., & Allen, K. B. (2004). Assessment of mindfulness by self-report: the Kentucky inventory of mindfulness skills. Assessment, 11(3), 191–206. doi:10.1177/1073191104268029.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  5. Beck, A. T., Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J., & Erbaugh, J. (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Archives of General Psychiatry, 4, 561–571.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beddoe, A. E., & Murphy, S. O. (2004). Does mindfulness decrease stress and foster empathy among nursing students? Journal of Nursing Education, 43(7), 305–312.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(4), 822–848.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chiesa, A., & Serretti, A. (2009). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for stress management in healthy people: a review and meta-analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(5), 593–600. doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen-Katz, J., Wiley, S., Capuano, T., Baker, D. M., Deitrick, L., & Shapiro, S. (2005). The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on nurse stress and burnout: a qualitative and quantitative study, part III. Holistic Nursing Practice, 19(2), 78–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Derogatis, L. R., & Melisaratos, N. (1983). The Brief Symptom Inventory: an introductory report. Psychological Medicine, 13(3), 595–605.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Zoysa, N., Ruths, F. A., Walsh, J., & Hutton, J. (2012). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for mental health professionals: a long-term qualitative follow-up study. Mindfulness (in press).Google Scholar
  12. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Farber, B. A. (1983). Dysfunctional aspects of the therapeutic role. In B. A. Farber (Ed.), Stress and burnout in the human service professions. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  14. Farber, B. A., & Heifetz, L. J. (1982). The process and dimensions of burnout in psychotherapists. Professional Psychologist, 13, 293–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Firth-Cozens, J., & Payne, R. L. (1999). Stress in health professionals: psychological and organizational causes and interventions. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Fletcher, L., & Hayes, S. C. (2005). Relational frame theory, acceptance and commitment therapy, and the functional analytic definition of mindfulness. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cogntive Behavior Therapy, 23(4), 315–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goldberg, D. P., & Hillier, V. F. (1979). A scaled version of the General Health Questionnaire. Psychological Medicine, 9(1), 139–145.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goldberg, D. P., & Williams, P. (1988). A user's guide to the general health questionnaire. Windsor: NFER-Nelson.Google Scholar
  19. Guy, J., & Liaboe, G. (1986). Personal therapy for the experienced psychotherapist: a discussion of its usefulness and utilisation. Clinical Psychologist, 39(1), 20–23.Google Scholar
  20. Jain, S., Shapiro, S. L., Swanick, S., Roesch, S. C., Mills, P. J., Bell, I., & Schwartz, G. E. (2007). A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33(1), 11–21. doi:10.1207/s15324796abm3301_2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain and illness. New York: Delacorte.Google Scholar
  22. Kabat-Zinn, J., Massion, A. O., Kristeller, J., Peterson, L. G., Fletcher, K. E., Pbert, L., & Santorelli, S. F. (1992). Effectiveness of a meditation-based stress reduction program in the treatment of anxiety disorders. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 149(7), 936–943.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Ma, S. H., & Teasdale, J. D. (2004). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: replication and exploration of differential relapse prevention effects. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72(1), 31–40. doi:10.1037/0022-006x.72.1.31.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Margison, F. (1987). Stress in psychiatrists. In R. Payne & J. Frith-Cozens (Eds.), Stress in health professional. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  25. Meyer, T. J., Miller, M. L., Metzger, R. L., & Borkovec, T. D. (1990). Development and validation of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. [Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.]. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 28(6), 487–495.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. National Institute for Clinical Excellence. (2009). The treatment and management of depression in adults. NICE Clinical Guidelines(CG90).Google Scholar
  27. Pavot, W., Diener, E., Colvin, C. R., & Sandvik, E. (1991). Further validation of the satisfaction with life scale: evidence for the cross-method convergence of well-being measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 57(1), 149–161.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Roemer, L., & Orsillo, S. M. (2002). Expanding our conceptualization of and treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: integrating mindfulness/acceptance-based approaches with existing cognitive-behavioral models. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 9(1), 54–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schenstroem, A., Roennberg, S., & Bodlund, O. (2006). Mindfulness-based cognitive attitude training for primary care staff: a pilot study. Complementary Health Practice Review, 11, 144.Google Scholar
  30. Segal, Z., Williams, J., & Teasdale, J. (2002). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression: a new approach to preventing relapse. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Shapiro, S., Brown, K. W., & Biegel, G. M. (2007). Teaching self-care to caregivers: effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on the mental health of therapists in training. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 1(2), 105–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shapiro, S. L., Astin, J. A., Bishop, S. R., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for health care professionals: results from a randomised trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shapiro, S. L., Schwartz, G. E., & Bonner, G. (1998). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on medical and premedical students. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21(6), 581–599.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Smith, J. C. (2004). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation: three caveats. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66(1), 148–149 [Comment/reply].PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Spielberger, C. D. (1985). Assessment of state and trait anxiety: conceptual and methodological issues. Southern Psychologist, 2(4), 6–16.Google Scholar
  36. Spielberger, C. D., Gorsuch, A. L., Lushene, R. E., Vagg, P. R., & Jacobs, P. A. (1983). Manual for the state-trait anxiety inventory. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists.Google Scholar
  37. Teasdale, J. D., Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M., Ridgeway, V. A., Soulsby, J. M., & Lau, M. A. (2000). Prevention of relapse/recurrence in major depression by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68(4), 615–623.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Vetesse, L. C., Toneatto, T., Stea, J. N., Nguyen, L., & Wang, J. J. (2009). Do mindfulness meditation participants do their homework? And does it make a difference? A review of the empirical evidence. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23(3), 198–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florian A. Ruths
    • 2
  • Nicole de Zoysa
    • 1
  • Sonya J. Frearson
    • 3
  • Jane Hutton
    • 1
  • J. Mark G. Williams
    • 4
  • James Walsh
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychological MedicineKing’s College HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Maudsley Psychotherapy DepartmentLondonUK
  3. 3.Barts Health NHS TrustLondonUK
  4. 4.Oxford University Department of PsychiatryWarneford HospitalOxfordUK
  5. 5.School of PsychologyUniversity of East LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations