, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 60–71 | Cite as

Experiences of Health Care Professionals Enrolled in Mindfulness-Based Medical Practice: A Grounded Theory Model

  • Julie Anne Irving
  • Jeeseon Park-Saltzman
  • Marilyn Fitzpatrick
  • Patricia Lynn Dobkin
  • Andrea Chen
  • Tom Hutchinson


Currently, a relatively small number of studies have employed qualitative methods to rigorously examine the experiences of health care professionals enrolled in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). This study developed a working model of how participants may experience change during an adapted MBSR program for health care professionals. The model derived from the data demonstrated that participants echoed themes similar to those described by clinical populations engaged in MBSR, such as the salience of the group experience and support, discovery of acceptance as well as the realization that some degree of frustration and/or distress is part of learning and establishing a mindfulness practice. Unique themes highlighted included becoming aware of perfectionism, the automaticity of “other focus” and the “helping or fixing mode”. Findings illustrated the nuanced change processes undertaken by participants and the implications such change held across professional and personal domains.


Mindfulness Health care professional Well-being Self-care Mindfulness-based stress reduction Grounded theory Negative effects 



Special thanks to Ms. Eileen Lavery and Ms. Nancy Gair at McGill Programs in Whole Person Care for their diligent work. Thank you to Dr. Hugues Cormier, Dr. Rose Matousek, Ms. Andrea Weaver and Ms. Vanessa Salvatore for feedback and editorial assistance. Finally, thank you to audience members at the 2011 Mindfulness International Scientific Conference for Researchers, Clinicians and Educators for your thoughtful comments and feedback on the preliminary results.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Anne Irving
    • 1
  • Jeeseon Park-Saltzman
    • 2
  • Marilyn Fitzpatrick
    • 2
  • Patricia Lynn Dobkin
    • 1
  • Andrea Chen
    • 2
  • Tom Hutchinson
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill Programs in Whole Person CareMcGill University, Gerald Bronfman CentreMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Counselling PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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