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A systematic and critical review of the research literature evaluated studies on whether mindfulness-based training for health care providers improves their psychosocial functioning. In addition, studies were critiqued that examined whether health care providers who either practice mindfulness or possess greater levels of mindfulness experience better results with their patients than those possessing lower levels of mindfulness or those who do not engage in formal mindfulness practices. Published literature was found using PsychInfo, PubMed, and Ovid electronic databases, as well as by looking through the reference section of relevant articles. Search keywords used were “therapist mindfulness,” “outcome(s),” “client outcome(s),” “therapeutic alliance,” “mindful therapist,” “mindfulness,” “therapist training,” “health care professionals,” “empathy,” “therapist empathy,” and combinations of these terms. There was no date restriction placed on the searches prior to 2011. Twenty studies met the inclusion criteria. The results tentatively indicate that mental health and health care providers benefit from mindfulness training with no negative results reported. The results are inconclusive as to whether those trained in formal mindfulness practices or who possess higher levels of mindfulness have better treatment outcomes than those who do not. Additional research using randomized controlled designs is needed to further evaluate the role of health care providers’ mindfulness in treatment outcomes.
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- Health Care Providers’ Mindfulness and Treatment Outcomes: A Critical Review of the Research Literature
Brittany F. Escuriex
Elise E. Labbé
- Springer US