Views on a brief mindfulness intervention among patients with long-term illness



Howarth A, Perkins-Porras L, Copland C & Ussher M (2016) Views on a brief mindfulness intervention among patients with long-term illness. BMC Psychology, 4 (1), Art. No.: 56.

Background: Chronic illness is the leading cause of death in the UK and worldwide. Psychological therapies to support self-management have been shown to play an important role in helping those with chronic illness cope; more recently, the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness approaches have become evident for managing depression and other distressing emotions. Brief guided mindfulness interventions, are more convenient than intensive traditional programmes requiring regular attendance but have been less explored. This study assessed views on a brief (i.e., 10 min) mindfulness intervention for those with specific long-term illnesses.  Methods: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with chronic illness patient groups (i.e., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic pain and cardiovascular disease), designed to capture the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention. The interviews were conducted after use of a mindfulness based audio in clinic and, one week later, after use in the patient's own environment. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.  Results: In total, a combination of 18 interviews and focus groups were conducted among 14 patients. Recruitment was most successful with chronic pain patients. All patients reported benefits such as feelings of relaxation and improved coping with symptoms. While the wording and content of the audio were generally well received, it was suggested that the length could be increased, as it felt rushed, and that more guidance about the purpose of mindfulness, and when to use it, was needed.  Conclusions: A brief mindfulness intervention was well accepted among patients with long-term illness. The intervention may benefit by being lengthened and by offering further guidance on its use.

Chronic illness; brief intervention; mindfulness; qualitative analysis;

BMC Psychology: Volume 4, Issue 1

Publication date15/11/2016
Publication date online15/11/2016
Date accepted by journal03/11/2016
PublisherBioMed Central

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Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing