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01-06-2015 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 3/2015 Open Access

Mindfulness 3/2015

Design of Economic Evaluations of Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Ten Methodological Questions of Which to Be Mindful

Mindfulness > Uitgave 3/2015
Rhiannon Tudor Edwards, Lucy Bryning, Rebecca Crane


Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are being increasingly applied in a variety of settings. A growing body of evidence to support the effectiveness of these interventions exists and there are a few published cost-effectiveness studies. With limited resources available within public sectors (health care, social care, and education), it is necessary to build in concurrent economic evaluations alongside trials in order to inform service commissioning and policy. If future research studies are well-designed, they have strong potential to investigate the economic impact of MBIs. The particular challenge to the health economist is how best to capture the ways that MBIs help people adjust to or build resilience to difficult life circumstances, and to disseminate effectively to enable policy makers to judge the value of the contribution that MBIs can make within the context of the limited resourcing of public services. In anticipation of more research worldwide evaluating MBIs in various settings, this article suggests ten health economics methodological design questions that researchers may want to consider prior to conducting MBI research. These questions draw on both published standards of good methodological practice in economic evaluation of medical interventions, and on the authors’ knowledge and experience of mindfulness-based practice. We argue that it is helpful to view MBIs as both complex interventions and as public health prevention initiatives. Our suggestions for well-designed economic evaluations of MBIs in health and other settings, mirror current thinking on the challenges and opportunities of public health economics.

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