A qualitative study examining the experiences of healthcare staff 12 months after their completion of an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course

Turner, Ross (2013) A qualitative study examining the experiences of healthcare staff 12 months after their completion of an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2997664


Background: Several quantitative studies have demonstrated that Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) may be able to reduce levels of stress in staff who work in a healthcare setting by increasing wellbeing and enhancing the ability to cope with stress. There is a dearth of qualitative research regarding the experiences of healthcare staff that undertake MBSR courses.

Method: Eight participants were recruited and interviewed from a group of twenty healthcare staff who had completed an 8-week MBSR course. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to explore the participants’ experiences of the MBSR course.

Results: Three superordinate themes emerged from the data. Quotations from the participants were used to label each theme. Superordinate theme 1 - “I would love to be like that” , relates to the participants’ aspiration to attain the qualities they observed in ‘mindful people’ and their hope that mindfulness could assist them to feel less stressed in their personal and work life. Superordinate theme 2 -“It was about going along...for me. And that was something I hadn’t experienced before” captured the surprise that the participants felt regarding the fact that the course was focussed on their self- care as opposed to the care of patients and the safeness and security they experienced whilst in the group. Finally, superordinate theme 3 - “Whereas before I would probably just let it take over and consume me”, related to the participants’ experiences of adopting a less passive and self-critical response to stressful thoughts after they had completed the mindfulness course.

Discussion: The MBSR course led to changes in most of the participants’ ways of being. Participants described mindfulness as an appealing personality characteristic to have and that the groups were a novel experience because of the focus on their own self-care as opposed to patient care. The facilitators and group members contributed to the group as being described as experienced like a ‘sanctuary’. The changes that came about as a result of increased mindfulness were particularly described as relating to an increase in awareness of low self-compassion and then a drive to increase compassion towards the self and others. This fits with recent research regarding how mindfulness achieves its treatment effects. These findings offer insight into potential areas for further exploration in future research such as the importance of the group effect, quantitatively examining the interpersonal and intrapersonal changes that mindfulness can lead to in terms of increased compassion as well as evaluating the importance of formal and informal practices of mindfulness.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: MBSR, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, IPA, lived experience, staff stress, burnout
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Mullen, Dr. Kenneth
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Dr Ross Turner
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4623
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2013 13:06
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2013 13:16
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4623

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