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Transforming the Perceptual Situation: a Meta-ethnography of qualitative Work Reporting Patients’ Experiences of Mindfulness-Based Approaches

Abstract

The UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for the prevention of relapse in chronic depression. Since Jon Kabat-Zinn first developed Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in the 1980s, most research has focused on questions of efficacy, i.e. does mindfulness work? More recently, interest has emerged in how mindfulness-based interventions, such as MBSR and MBCT, are experienced by participants. To evaluate how participants experience the 8-week MBSR/MBCT process, we carried out a meta-ethnography of published qualitative papers since 2001, whose focus is the patient experience of MBCT and MBSR. A systematic search of six databases was carried out. Relevant papers were critically appraised using a modified version of the Critical Appraisal Skills programme tool. Fourteen papers, each representing a unique study, were included in the meta-ethnography. The synthesis describes patients’ experience of the mindfulness process. Linking patient experiences to existing theories of mindfulness and chronic illness, the synthesis conceptualises the way participants develop a new understanding of their illness over time, and the role mindfulness approaches have in helping them manage their difficulties better.

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Acknowledgement

This research was supported by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Fellowship awarded to Dr Alice Malpass.

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Correspondence to Alice Malpass.

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Reference items marked with an asterisk (*) are those included in the synthesis.

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Malpass, A., Carel, H., Ridd, M. et al. Transforming the Perceptual Situation: a Meta-ethnography of qualitative Work Reporting Patients’ Experiences of Mindfulness-Based Approaches. Mindfulness 3, 60–75 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-011-0081-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-011-0081-2

Keywords

  • MBCT
  • MBSR
  • Meta-ethnography
  • Therapeutic process
  • Chronic illness
  • Patient experience