Reporting Standards in Related Fields
Development of the Recommendations
Conceptual Framework and Reporting Recommendations
The SBMP Implementation Framework
School-based Mindfulness Program (SBMP)
Any program implemented within the school context (PreK-12) with a central feature of mindfulness and/or contemplative principles and practices
SBMP Implementation Elements
Key elements of SBMPs that, when specified, allow researchers to identify the Core Components (CCs) of SBMPs and help to elucidate for whom and under what conditions SBMPs work. These key elements are organized into four broad categories: program, participants, context, and implementation
Core Components (CC) and Hypothesized Core Components
The parts, features, attributes, or characteristics of an SBMP that empirically influence its success when implemented effectively. The essential or active ingredients necessary to produce desired outcomes. Prior to empirical validation, these are referred to as Hypothesized Core Components. Core Components serve as the unit of analysis for researchers to determine or describe “what works.” They become the components that practitioners and policymakers seek to replicate in and across a range of related programs and systems
Program (Program Design)
The strategies or innovations that are causally linked to specified, intended outcomes. They can include programs, policies, processes, or principles. Requires specification prior to implementation to determine the extent to which program components are implemented as intended (also referred to as Program Design)
Core Program Components (CPCs)
Essential parts of the program itself, which include the practices, policies, processes, or principles, that are empirically or hypothetically linked to program and participant outcomes. CPCs produce outcomes
Implementation Support System (ISS)
Practices, policies, and supports that help reduce variability in high-quality implementation by providing the infrastructure necessary to coordinate the deployment of the program through elements such as teacher training. Elements of the ISS promote high-quality implementation and can support integrity to CPCs. The program itself and the corresponding support system are independent, though interrelated, elements of a whole
Domitrovich et. al. (2008)
All people who are involved with and affected by a particular program. Participants include both the recipients of the program and the deliverers of the program (e.g., teachers, students, staff, and community members). Reporting on participants can include background characteristics, risk and protective factors, etc.
The setting and characteristics of the locale and school system/site within which the program is being implemented. Reporting can include information on school structure, values, buy-in, demand, locale and community characteristics, and relational trust, as well as broader ethical or legal considerations
What a program consists of when it is delivered in a particular setting. Program implementation is comprised of three broad dimensions and 8 sub-dimensions to support consistency in reporting
Quality of Implementation (QOI)
The extent to which a provider approached a theoretical ideal in delivering a program or the effectiveness with which a program is delivered. Comprised of three inter-related sub-dimensions of integrity, teacher/facilitator competence, and adaptations. High QOI is more likely to produce program impacts. It can be helpful to set a priori benchmarks of QOI to determine if a program was implemented well enough to anticipate participant outcomes
The extent to which a program’s CPCs, objectives, and principles are implemented as intended. Emphasis is on integrity to CPCs not solely to a manual, rigid set of practices, curriculum, or protocol. Involves a degree of flexibility and alignment to Validated and/or Hypothesized CCs and/or program objectives. Also referred to by others as fidelity or adherence
Greenhalgh and Papoutsi (2019)
The level of skill a teacher has in teaching the program (e.g., embodiment of foundational mindfulness qualities, knowledge, proficiency in teaching the program, commitment to mindfulness practice, and participation with students in a process of inquiry during the teaching process). Can involve domains of planning, organization, curriculum coverage, teaching mindfulness, guiding practices, and facilitation of the learning environment for programming
Additions or modifications made to the program either pre-emptively to adapt/align with context or participant needs (planned adaptations) or during implementation (unplanned adaptations)
Berkel et al. (2011)
The quantity of the program itself that is delivered and/or received
The amount or how much of a program that is delivered (can also be referred to as exposure). Can include number of sessions offered, intensity of sessions, and length of time of sessions
The amount of the program received and practiced by recipients. Can include number of sessions attended, amount of in-class and out-of-class practice, time engaged in formal and informal practice—structured practice such as sitting meditation v. bringing the skills acquired through formal practice into the moments and events of everyday life
Montgomery et al. (2013)
Goodness of fit
Compatibility or alignment of program elements (as implemented) with aspects of a particular school context or locale (e.g., to the cultural and developmental needs and capacities of students, educators, and the school community). The fit of the particulars of the program with the particulars of the participants and context
Roeser et al. (2022a)
The extent to which participants are engaged with, receptive to, and interested in the activities and content of the program. Responsiveness is distinct from uptake (one could attend all sessions and not be engaged) and captures any potential harms or confusion participants could have engendered
The ease with which a program is implemented within a specific setting. Feasibility indicates whether a program can be examined in a more full-scale study or needs further testing. Includes buy-in, relevance, resource availability, capacity, sustainability, barriers, and facilitators
The extent to which a program is judged as suitable, satisfying, or attractive to program deliverers, recipients, the overall school community, other teachers and school staff, and parents. Sample outcomes include satisfaction, intent to continue to use, perceived appropriateness, and fit within organizational culture. Typically reported as part of pilot and feasibility studies
Bowen et al. (2009)
Paper sections & sub-sections
Recommended reporting items
Supplementary reporting suggestions
Title page & abstract
✓ Include keyword search terms: "school" and "mindfulness"
✓ Include secondary search terms (if applicable): Implementation; yoga; contemplative; name of program; key outcomes; child; adolescent; youth; classroom
Identification as a School-Based Mindfulness Program (SBMP) study. Description of program to be tested, school and/or classroom context(s), methodology, and key outcomes and implementation elements assessed
✓ Name of Program
✓ If the study was pre-registered, state where and include the registration number.
✓ Identification as SBMP study
✓ Key outcomes assessed
✓ Key implementation elements assessed
✓ Pre-registration status
Study Background & Problem Addressed
Scientific background and theoretical rationale for SBMP being implemented.
✓ Describe the problem that the study aims to address.
✓ Note any subgroups of interest or nested studies.
✓ Describe the specified target population and developmental considerations for the SBMP based on participants' age(s).
✓ Provide definition of mindfulness and/or relevant contemplative area(s) of focus (with attention to developmental considerations).
✓ Provide theoretical rationale for SBMP being implemented, as well as an accompanying theory of change with description and cohesive integration of programmatic and implementation theory.
✓ Provide explanation of how mindfulness is being operationalized in theory of change, highlighting the core mindfulness competencies to be targeted.
✓ Provide visual representation of theory of change (e.g., Logic Model)a that incorporates CPCs and elements of the ISS, linking these components to Quality of Implementation (QOI) and relevant participant outcomes.
Core Components (CCs)
Outline Hypothesized and/or Validated Core Program Components (CPCs) and elements of the Implementation Support System (ISS)
✓ Clearly articulate CPCs and how they relate to participant outcomes.
✓CPCs: Structure, content, process, and principles of the SBMP that are hypothesized to be causally linked to outcomes.
✓ Clearly articulate the ISS and how elements of the ISS support high-implementation and program delivery.
✓ISS: Practices, policies, and supports that promote high-quality program implementation (e.g., teacher training, teacher support, manual(s) and resources, peer learning, and incentives).
Overview of SBMP & ISS
General description of SBMP including the materials used to support the program design and delivery. Description of full ISS, explicating how the ISS promotes SBMP delivery and high quality implementation.
✓ Provide name of the manualized SBMP and reference to the most recent curriculum guide.
✓ Describe program activities in relation to CPCs, noting approximate percentage of SBMP or amount of time allocated to each CPC (see Jennings et al., 2013)
✓ Describe program curriculum in detail, noting its manualized sequencing and activities.
✓ Describe any physical or informational materials used in SBMP (i.e., those provided to participants, used in program delivery, and training of administrators and/or teachers or program staff).
✓ Physical or informational materials might include written course materials, guided mindfulness practices, instructor scripts, materials for caregivers or parents, materials for home practice, etc. (materials can be included in supplement based on journal space and wording requirements).
✓ Provide an overview of ISS used to promote program delivery and high-quality implementation (e.g., teacher training, school staff buy-in, relational trust, etc.)
Study Aims & Objectives
Outline aims and objects of the current study.
✓ Describe overarching aims and objectives of current study.
✓ Describe post-hoc or exploratory questions or analyses (if applicable).
✓ Describe a priori hypotheses or research questions and/or underlying assumptions.
Describe overall study design and key features of the evaluation. Provide eligibility and selection criteria for both SBMP and comparison/control conditions.
✓ Describe methods of how individuals or groups were selected or constructed. Describe comparison condition, randomization procedures (e.g., whether blinded or not) or process for waitlist or matching.
✓ Recruitment procedures: Inclusion/exclusion criteria for BOTH those delivering and receiving the SBMP and comparison/control conditions, consent procedures (i.e., active or passive), assent procedures, and incentives (if applicable).
✓ Measurement procedures overview: Provide brief overview of measurement including number of measurements and timing relative to SBMP delivery (i.e., long-term follow-up).
✓ Describe how sub-groups were created and/or procedures for nested studies (if applicable).
✓ If multiple groups are assigned, include CONSORT Transparent Reporting Diagram
Describe characteristics of the school and classroom context for both SBMP and comparison/control conditions. Describe the characteristics of the broader community or cultural context.
✓ Geographic location of recruited schools (e.g., rural, urban, suburban)
✓ School type (public/private/charter/other)
✓ Supports relevant at classroom or school level (e.g., SEL, mental health supports; Tier 1 in the U.S.)
✓ Note any salient school characteristics as they pertain to implementation (as available) including grade-levels; school climate & resources (e.g., space, number of school counselors or psychologists); classroom structure; language immersion; student-to-teacher ratio
✓ Describe in detail supports (e.g., years of implementation)
✓ Representativeness: Relevant population-level characteristics (e.g., state/province, district or local jurisdiction, country, school, and/or classroom) including (at a minimum): race, ethnicity, gender
✓ Demographics and average class size
✓ (If study conducted in U.S.) Report % of students with IEPs; % of students in IDEA disability categories for IEPs; % with 504 plans, % ELL status of students; other salient characteristics (ICD-10/DSM-5 diagnoses), % of students receiving Free or Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) – studies conducted in other countries should include comparable and relevant statistics
✓ (If school level SBMP) Note any special features of recruited school and representativeness of school relative to population-level characteristics (e.g., other schools in the district or local jurisdiction, state/province, or country).
✓ Note staff characteristics (as available) including demographics of race, ethnicity, and gender; teacher demographic match with participants; teacher and staff retention; years teaching; educational credentials of teachers; teachers/students’ sense of relational trust
✓ (If classroom level SBMP) Note classroom characteristics of recruited schools as they pertain to implementation (e.g., subject matter taught; class size; inclusion) and representativeness characteristics relative to population characteristics
Broader-Level (as applicable):
✓ Ethical/legal considerations (e.g., county or state/provincial laws, regulations or SEL mandates)
✓ Local community characteristics (e.g., economic, violence/crime, community knowledge of and support for SBMP; traumatic events; recent mental health issues)
Description of participants (both those delivering and those receiving the SBMP and comparison/control conditions).
✓ Provide relevant characteristics of those delivering the SBMP including relevant demographics (i.e., race, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and experience with contemplative practice - years practiced, ongoing personal practice, prior completion of any required training, buy-in).
✓ Provide relevant characteristics of those receiving the program (teachers, students, or both; see above for guidance on reporting and note if participant characteristics mirrored those of the school)
✓ Representativeness of participant sample to population unit of analysis (i.e., classroom, school, district, state/province)
✓ For those delivering the program: Note background and experience as a teacher (e.g., grade-level and subjects taught, # of years teaching).
✓ For those receiving the program (as available/ or relevant): Language spoken at home/immigration status/acculturation; % homelessness and/or other risk/protective factors; internalizing and externalizing symptoms; racism, bullying/violence, involvement or experience in the justice system; family and peer relationships; social-emotional competencies.
✓ Describe any subgroups recruited and/or studies with sub-samples.
Detail approach to measurement and measures used to assess program implementation and outcomes in both conditions.
✓ Describe overall approach to assessing implementation & outcomes in both conditions, ideally linked to logic model/theory of change.
Implementation Measures: Outline measures for:
Quality of Implementation (QOI):
✓ Integrity: Degree to which program is delivered as intended in relation to CPCs, objectives, or principles.
✓ Adaptations: Planned and unplanned additions or modifications made to program during delivery. If no adaptations were made from the SBMP protocol/curriculum guide, this must be explicitly stated.
✓ Competence: Skill level of teacher or external facilitator for teaching SBMP (e.g., embodiment of foundational mindfulness qualities, knowledge and competency in teaching SBMPs, commitment to mindfulness practice, organization, planning, curriculum coverage, guiding of practices and facilitation of the learning environment for programming).
✓ Use guiding table for implementation measurement (see Gould et al. 2014); consider collecting measures from multiple reporters and/or observational measures; and consider calculating reliability and validity for all measures.
Quality of Implementation (QOI):
✓ Integrity: Articulate adherence "to what" - ideally to CPCs, central lesson objectives, or overarching principles (not only to a manual) as well as any strategies to maintain/monitor fidelity.
✓ Adaptations: Detail planned and unplanned adaptations; Planned - If the SBMP was meant to be personalized, titrated or adapted, then describe what, why, when and how; Unplanned - Describe how individual needs/vulnerabilities were addressed by those delivering the SBMP.
✓ Competence and ISS: Assess competence via observational measures (e.g., TMEOS; Broderick et al., 2019). If possible, assess aspects of ISS (e.g., the quality and dosage of teacher training and ongoing coaching or PD)
Amount of Program:
✓ Dosage: Amount of program delivered to participants.
✓ Participant Uptake: Amount of program received by participants.
Amount of Program:
✓ Dosage: Note total instructional time, number of sessions delivered, length of time, and intensity of sessions. Differentiate didactic instruction, inquiry, activities, and contemplative practice.
✓ Participant Uptake: Number of sessions attended or total exposure, time spent engaged in formal v. informal practice, as well as in-class v. out-of-class practice or homework.
Goodness of Fit:
✓ Participant Responsiveness: Extent to which participants are receptive to, engaged with, and interested in material & content.
✓ Feasibility: Ease of implementation, cost of SBMP, barriers to implementation, and facilitators of implementation.
✓ Acceptability: Suitability of and satisfaction with SBMP based on staff, teacher, and student feedback.
Goodness of Fit:
✓ Participant Responsiveness: Assess participant engagement, motivation, interest in, and feedback about SBMP. Note participant harms (i.e., all important harms or iatrogenic effects for each condition).
✓ Feasibility/Acceptability: Collect qualitative measures related to implementation barriers and supports; quantitative measures related to staff time; average cost per student/teacher/instructor.
✓ Describe participant outcomes relevant to theory of change.
✓ Contextual outcomes (if applicable).
✓Note developmental considerations with outcome measures.
Describe data collection and implementation procedures that took place for both the SBMP and control/comparison condition in enough detail to allow for replication.
Data Collection Procedures:
✓ Describe data collection procedures for implementation and outcome measures including who, when, where, how long, and at what time intervals.
✓ Describe implementation procedures for ISS in detail and be sure to describe:
✓ the MBP teacher training that those delivering the program received (e.g., hours, in-school v. out-of-school PD, who administered the training and in what format)
✓ the guidelines given to teachers and/or program staff (i.e., what, and how to implement with fidelity and any planned adaptations)
✓ongoing supports and monitoring that occurred during program delivery (e.g., coaching, peer learning etc.)
✓ ISS: Ideally document and assess teacher training (e.g., prior, advanced, or follow-up training); ongoing coaching/support/peer learning; resources; manuals; toolkits; incentives – noting how ISS elements differed or were altered from description in Introduction
✓ Describe implementation procedures for the program delivery in enough detail for replication and be sure to describe:
✓ identify the actors who enacted the program and oversaw the ISS or enabled it (e.g., school administrators, teachers, program staff). The role of the investigator(s) should be explicit.
✓ describe the modes of delivery (e.g., face to face, online, pre-recorded videos or practices).
✓ describe whether it was delivered to the whole class, in groups, or individually.
✓ outline the timing of delivery, including sequencing and when it was delivered and whether SBMP occurred during school hours.
✓ describe what the comparison/control condition received (ideally with same level of detail as SBMP condition).
✓ describe what services members of the SBMP condition and control/comparison condition received beyond the program being evaluated (e.g., other relevant SEL or mental health programs)
✓ report any context changes or significant events that occurred during the SBMP delivery period
✓ Provide a visual timeline of data collection and implementation procedures (can be provided in online supplement).
✓ Differentiation: Describe differences between conditions in terms of theory and practice, as well as differences between SBMP and other approaches (e.g., SEL programming).
✓ Monitoring: Assess and note other relevant programs (e.g., SEL programs) being implemented.
Analytic methods used and rationale for outcomes evaluation, ideally testing mechanisms of change.
✓ Describe analytic methods (e.g., methodology for calculating scores for each implementation dimension and overall QOI).
✓ Articulate a priori benchmarks or cutoffs, as well as accompanying rationale for low, medium, and high QOI.
✓ If variation in QOI exists, ideally assess the relationship between ISS and QOI and between QOI and participant outcomes.
✓ Consider return on investment or cost-benefit analyses (if applicable)
✓ Outline data analysis plan and rationale for overall analytic approach including how to account for any nested and missing data.
✓ Describe approach for addressing attrition (note any deviation).
✓ (If quantitative methods used) Describe method for determining group equivalence between SBMP and comparison/control conditions on relevant measures. Describe approach to outcome analyses for main effects. Describe any subgroup/moderator and mediation analyses (if applicable).
✓ State any modifications of or deviations from data analysis plan.
✓ Explore effects on available school data (e.g., academic performance, teacher attrition, teacher health care utilization, student attendance, etc.)
✓ Subgroup/Moderator Analyses: Consider testing moderation of demographic covariates
✓ For quantitative analyses: Ideally test mechanisms of change through mediation analyses
✓ (If qualitative methods used) Explain in detail the development of codes (a priori or emergent) and how they relate to the central research question(s) or CPCs and the ISS. Identify the unit of analysis. Provide background and positionality of researchers/coders related to SBMPs and how this impacted data analysis.
✓ For qualitative analyses: Refer to good practice reporting (see Levitt, et al., 2018).
Provide results for all outcome and implementation analyses. Describe results of relationship between QOI and SBMP outcomes. Describe possible differences in effects based on subgroups.
✓ Report full results (both null and statistically significant) in-line with stated study aims & objectives
✓ Use QOI Table to consolidate results (see Gould et al., 2014).
✓ Report results with consideration to participant demographic characteristics
✓ Report overall level of QOI and whether it met a priori benchmarks for QOI, and variation in QOI across classrooms/schools (if it exists). Report both (1) null results and (2) significant results for what worked for whom under what conditions.
✓ Applying the implementation framework theory described in the Introduction, report both (1) null results and (2) significant results of what worked for whom under what conditions.
Summary of findings, strengths and limitations, comparisons to other studies.
✓ Summarize findings.
✓ Describe how the study advances knowledge about SBMPs and their implementation, especially in comparison to other studies.
✓ Discuss the unique contributions of SBMPs, especially in relation to other programming (e.g., SEL)
✓ Describe how SBMP implementation was connected to and informed results.
✓ Describe how study contributes to understanding of how SBMPs and their implementation impact diverse participants, particularly for historically marginalized and understudied populations (e.g., racial minorities and individuals with disabilities). If not explored, report this.
Discussion of policy, practice and/or research implications of both the SBMP and the ISS.
✓ Discuss implications of SBMP and ISS for policy, practice, and/or research.
✓ Consider implications for scalability
✓ Describe future directions and offer concluding thoughts.
Include statement(s) regulatory approvals, funding, and conflicts of interest (if applicable),
✓ Note regulatory approvals (e.g., ethical approval, confidential use of routine data)
✓ Acknowledge funding and conflicts of interest (e.g., involvement of the owner or creator of the SBMP in the implementation and/or the evaluation)