Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life (MBCT-L)

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life (MBCT-L)

Healthcare workers play a critical role in the health of a nation, yet rates of healthcare worker stress are disproportionately high. We evaluated whether mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for life (MBCT-L), could reduce stress in healthcare workers and target a range of secondary outcomes.

Method: This is the first parallel randomised controlled trial of MBCT-L. Participants were NHS workers, who were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive either MBCT-L or wait-list. The primary outcome was self-reported stress at post-intervention. Secondary variables were well-being, depression, anxiety, and work-related outcomes. Mixed regressions were used. Mindfulnessand self/other-compassion were explored as potential mechanisms of effects on stress and wellbeing.

Results: We assigned 234 participants to MBCT-L (n = 115) or to wait-list (n = 119). 168 (72%) participants completed the primary outcome and of those who started the MBCT-L 73.40% (n = 69) attended the majority of the sessions. MBCT-L ameliorated stress compared with controls (B = 2.60, 95% CI = 1.63‒3.56; d = -0.72; p < .0001). Effects were also found for well-being, depression and anxiety, but not for work-related outcomes. Mindfulnessand self-compassion mediated effects on stress and wellbeing.

Conclusions: MBCT-L could be an effective and acceptable part of a wider healthcare workers well-being and mental health strategy.

Rank: 4
First Author: Strauss
Outcome: Stress,Emot. Exhaust./Comp. Fatig.,Burnout,Mindfulness,Self-Compassion,Anxiety,Depression,Well-being,Cost/ROI
Outcome p-value: Stress:⭑⭑⭑, Emotional Exhaustion/Compassion Fatigue:●, Burnout:●, Mindfulness:⭑⭑⭑, Self-Compassion:⭑⭑⭑, Anxiety:⭑, Depression:⭑⭑⭑, Well-being:⭑⭑⭑, Cost/ROI:●
Intervention Category: Mindfulness
Time per Employee (hours): 16
Hours per Employee: 16
D&B Study Quality Rating: 21
Reviewer Confidence: 4
Country: United Kingdom
Study Design Type: RCT
Materials Available to Implement: Intervention outlined in publication. Source materials: Feldman, C., & Kuyken, W. (2019). Mindfulness: Ancient wisdom meets modern psychology. Guilford (identified as foundational materials). Kuyken, W., Bernard, P., & Baer, R. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Life Teacher’s Guide (in prep), due to be published in 2023. Corresponding author: w.kuyken@exeter.ac.uk
Organiz./Individ. Focus: Individual
Prevention Category: Primary
Effect Size: Small,Medium,Large
Effect size Small: Mindfulness,Self-Compassion,Anxiety
Effect size Medium: Stress,Depression
Effect size Large: Well-being
Reference: Strauss, C., Gu, J., Montero-Marin, J., Whittington, A., Chapman, C., & Kuyken, W. (2021). Reducing stress and promoting well-being in healthcare workers using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for life. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychol : IJCHP, 21(2), 100227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijchp.2021.100227