02-01-2023 | Commentary
Minding the Gap: Attending to Implementation Science and Practice in School-Based Mindfulness Program Research
Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 2/2023Log in om toegang te krijgen
A growing interest in mindfulness-based programs delivered in preschool and/or kindergarten through grade 12 (PreK-12) school settings has resulted in an expanding body of research examining the impacts of such programs on student outcomes. However, the research has lacked rigor and the results have been mixed. There is a lack of consistency in how studies report implementation limiting our understanding of program components and their relationships to outcomes. Implementation science principles can be applied to support efforts to build a rigorous evidence base that can show what works for whom, and under what conditions within and across different studies. To this end, Baelen et al. (Implementation Reporting Recommendations for School-Based Mindfulness Programs) present a conceptual framework of implementation elements for school-based mindfulness programs (SBMP) adding value to this emerging field. This important effort will undoubtedly become a cornerstone for future research. This commentary argues that, as the field adopts more rigorous implementation science processes, it will be important to simultaneously attend to implementation practice to prevent gaps between knowledge and practice. This commentary provides a brief background in the knowledge to practice gap identified in other related fields, introduces a perspective on implementation practice as it relates to SBMP practitioners, and proposes necessary steps for building capacity that will enable practitioners to implement evidence-based SBMP effectively while also informing SBMP refinement. The commentary addresses the need for a more refined approach to SBMP development based in developmental science and in partnership with educators, students, and their families who understand community needs and contextual factors that may be barriers or facilitators to SBMP implementation.