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BackgroundMindfulness-based approaches for adults are effective at enhancing mental health, but few controlled trials have evaluated their effectiveness or cost-effectiveness for young people. The primary aim of this trial is to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a mindfulness training (MT) programme to enhance mental health, wellbeing and social-emotional behavioural functioning in adolescence. Methods/design To address this aim, the design will be a superiority, cluster randomised controlled, parallel-group trial in which schools offering social and emotional provision in line with good practice (Formby et al., Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education: A mapping study of the prevalent models of delivery and their effectiveness, 2010; OFSTED, Not Yet Good Enough: Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education in schools, 2013) will be randomised to either continue this provision (control) or include MT in this provision (intervention). The study will recruit and randomise 76 schools (clusters) and 5700 school students aged 12 to 14 years, followed up for 2 years. Discussion The study will contribute to establishing if MT is an effective and cost-effective approach to promoting mental health in adolescence.
Parental depression can adversely affect parenting and children’s development. We adapted mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for parents (MBCT-P) with a history of depression and describe its development, feasibility, acceptability and preliminary estimates of efficacy. Manual development involved interviews with 12 parents who participated in MBCT groups or pilot MBCT-P groups. We subsequently randomised 38 parents of children aged between 2 and 6 years to MBCT-P plus usual care (n = 19) or usual care (n = 19). Parents were interviewed to assess the acceptability of MBCT-P. Preliminary estimates of efficacy in relation to parental depression and children’s behaviour were calculated at 4 and 9 months post-randomisation. Levels of parental stress, mindfulness and self-compassion were measured. Interviews confirmed the acceptability of MBCT-P; 78 % attended at least half the sessions. In the pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT), at 9 months, depressive symptoms in the MBCT-P arm were lower than in the usual care arm (adjusted mean difference = −7.0; 95 % confidence interval (CI) = −12.8 to −1.1; p = 0.02) and 11 participants (58 %) in the MBCT-P arm remained well compared to 6 (32 %) in the usual care arm (mean difference = 26 %; 95 % CI = −4 to 57 %; p = 0.02). Levels of mindfulness (p = 0.01) and self-compassion (p = 0.005) were higher in the MBCT-P arm, with no significant differences in parental stress (p = 0.2) or children’s behaviour (p = 0.2). Children’s behaviour problems were significantly lower in the MBCT-P arm at 4 months (p = 0.03). This study suggests MBCT-P is acceptable and feasible. A definitive trial is needed to test its efficacy and cost effectiveness.
We aimed to evaluate whether mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was feasible and acceptable for young people, their parents and the clinicians working with them; whether a parallel course for parents was a useful addition; and whether attendance at MBCT was associated with improved outcomes. The design was a mixed-method service evaluation of an eight-session MBCT programme for young people who were recovering from depression. The course was a manualised eight-session group intervention. Both young people (n = 18) and parents (n = 21) completed validated measures before and after the course. Semi-structured interviews were completed with some group participants and clinical staff working in the service. Care records were searched for additional contact following the intervention. Qualitative data from young people, parents and clinicians suggested that MBCT was acceptable and feasible and provided strategies to cope. The parent course was reported to provide personal support to parents and helped them cope with their child’s depression whilst also impacting the family, promoted shared understanding of depression and strategies to combat it and addressed intergenerational aspects of depression. Eighty-four per cent of participants attended at least 6/8 sessions, and 48% required no further intervention within the following year. Young people had statistically significant improvements across all outcome measures, whilst parents had statistically significant improvements in rumination, self-compassion and decentring.
This paper examined the facilitators and barriers to implementation of mindfulness training (MT) across seven secondary/high schools using a qualitative case study design. Schools varied in level of implementation. Within schools, head teachers, members of school senior leadership teams, and staff members involved in the implementation of MT were interviewed individually. In addition, focus groups were conducted with other members of school staff to capture a broad range of views and perspectives. Across the case studies, several key themes emerged, which suggested four cornerstones to successful implementation of MT in schools. These were: people, specifically the need for committed individuals to champion the approach within their schools, with the support of members of the senior leadership teams; resources, both time and financial resources required for training and delivery of MT; journey, reflecting the fact that implementation takes time, and may be a non-linear process with stops and starts; and finally perceptions, highlighting the importance of members of the school community sharing an understanding what MT is and why it is being introduced in each school context. Similarities and differences between the current findings and those of research on implementation of other forms of school mental health promotion programs, and implementation of MT in healthcare settings, are discussed.