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Mindfulness Training as a Clinical Intervention with Homeless Adults: a Pilot Study

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Abstract

The prevalence of mental health and addiction issues in the homeless population is very high. Mindfulness based interventions have been shown to have positive impacts on anxiety, depression and addiction in various populations. Mixed methods explored the impact of a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention for 12 homeless men. Quantitative measures of anxiety, depression, impulsivity and emotional reactivity were completed pre and post intervention, and participants were interviewed about their experiences of MBSR. Statistically significant changes in anxiety, depression, emotional reactivity and impulsivity were found. The qualitative data highlighted how mindfulness skills can easily be taught to this population, and through the use of these skills, participants were able to develop enhanced coping skills, mindful traits, well-being and an improved capacity to deal with their mental health and addiction issues. This study gives support to the promising potential of mindfulness interventions being implemented by mental health care professionals with homeless service users.

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Correspondence to Alan Maddock.

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Funding

Alan Maddock is a PhD scholar with the Irish Research Board (HRB) and this research was funded by the HRB in Ireland under Grant No. PHD/2007/16 as part of an academic placement carried out by Alan with a homeless organization in Dublin, Ireland.

Conflict of Interest

Authors Alan Maddock, David Hevey and Katharina Eidenmueller declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5).

Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Financial Disclosures

The Health Research Board (HRB) supports excellent research that improves people’s health, patient care and health service delivery. The HRB aim to ensure that new knowledge is created and then used in policy and practice. In doing so, the HRB supports health system innovation and creates new enterprise opportunities.

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Maddock, A., Hevey, D. & Eidenmueller, K. Mindfulness Training as a Clinical Intervention with Homeless Adults: a Pilot Study. Int J Ment Health Addiction 15, 529–544 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-016-9718-7

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