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Acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of a workplace mindfulness program for public sector employees: a pilot randomized controlled trial with informant reports

Bartlett, L, Lovell, P, Otahal, P ORCID: 0000-0003-4042-1769 and Sanderson, K ORCID: 0000-0002-3132-2745 2017 , 'Acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of a workplace mindfulness program for public sector employees: a pilot randomized controlled trial with informant reports' , Mindfulness, vol. 8 , pp. 639-654 , doi: 10.1007/s12671-016-0643-4.

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Abstract

Mindfulness training appears to reduce stress anddistress, but little is known about whether it results in changesthat can be observed by colleagues, family, or friends or itsappropriateness as a workplace stress management interventionfor a large and distributed public sector workforce. Thisstudy evaluated a pilot 5-week Mindfulness atWork Program(MaWP) for acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy in relationto stress and related mental health and productivity problemsfor public sector employees. A parallel group randomizedcontrolled trial compared the MaWP intervention (n = 20)with an information-only control (n = 100). Exploratory qualitativeand quantitative methods were used to assess changesobserved by informants (n = 63). Results suggest a high degreeof acceptability, although location and inflexible workschedules presented feasibility obstacles. Compared with thecontrol, the primary outcome of mindfulness improved forMaWP participants (d = 0.57, p d = 0.97, p d = 0.61,p d = 0.51, p = 0.002),and social functioning (d = 0.08, p = 0.019). All secondaryoutcomes were at least partly mediated by changes in mindfulness.The intervention thus appears to have potential meritas a workplace intervention for public sector employees acrossa range of outcomes. Obtaining informant observations wasfeasible and while qualitative analyses indicated positivechanges that supported self-reported outcomes, quantitativeanalyses returned ambiguous results. A seven-item scaleadapted from a popular self-report mindfulness scale for useby informants showed promise, but further work is needed toestablish validity, reliability, and scalability of this method ofassessing observable changes following mindfulness training.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Bartlett, L and Lovell, P and Otahal, P and Sanderson, K
Keywords: Mindfulness, workplace, stress, mental health, informants
Journal or Publication Title: Mindfulness
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
ISSN: 1868-8527
DOI / ID Number: 10.1007/s12671-016-0643-4
Copyright Information:

Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

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