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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Brief mindfulness training to improve mental health with Colombian healthcare professionals
by Manotas, Manuel Andres, Psy.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2012, 101; 3545006
Abstract (Summary)

Originating in a 2,500-year-old Buddhist tradition, mindfulness practice has become an accepted psychotherapeutic intervention in Western psychology. Research has established that brief mindfulness interventions can reduce psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress in clinical populations and among healthy employees in Caucasian samples (Carmody & Baer, 2009). Recently, mindfulness research has progressed from outcome research to process research. New theory and assessment measures permit study of sub facets of mindfulness, allowing researchers to examine how changes in wellbeing are brought about in mindfulness interventions (Baer et al., 2006). Existing research suggests that rumination and psychological flexibility may act as mediators between facets of mindfulness and distress symptoms following mindfulness training.

The present study was designed to (a) replicate benefits of mindfulness-based interventions in a community sample of healthcare employees in Bogota, Colombia, a new population and geographical area; (b) examine the efficacy of a 4-week mindfulness intervention in reducing depression, anxiety, and perceived stress; and (c) test suggestions that rumination and psychological flexibility may act as mediators between facets of mindfulness and psychological symptom change.

Working healthcare professionals (N = 83) employed at La Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota (FSFB) in Bogota, Colombia, participated in a randomized, waitlist controlled study. Pre- and post-assessments of depression, anxiety, somatization, global symptoms, perceived stress, rumination, psychological flexibility, curiosity, and five facets of mindfulness (observing, describing, acting with awareness, non-reactivity, and non-judging) were conducted.

Results revealed significant reductions in anxiety, depression, somatization, and perceived stress as well as significant increases in the mindfulness facets of observing and nonjudging. Furthermore, the results suggest that reduced perceived stress and increased psychological flexibility mediated between increased mindfulness (observing and nonjudging) and reduced global symptoms.

The findings suggest that 4-week mindfulness interventions (in place of 8-week training) may be an effective means of improving wellbeing among busy working professionals. Further, changes in observing and nonjudging may be the active mindfulness components in this short intervention. Finally, reductions in perceived stress and increases in psychological flexibility may mediate the effects of mindfulness on symptom reduction. Future research on the sequencing of involvement of mindfulness facets in training and symptom change are called for.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McGovern, Katie
Commitee: Vieten, Cassandra
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Healthcare professionals, Mindfulness, Stress
Publication Number: 3545006
ISBN: 978-1-267-76703-5
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