Mindfulness-based social work and self-care with social work professionals: Replication and expansion of a randomised controlled trial

Alan Maddock*, Karen McGuigan, Pearse Mccusker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Social workers are at high risk of work stress and burnout, with the Covid-19 reported to have amplified this risk. The Mindfulness-based Social Work and Self-Care programme (MBSWSC) has been found to support cognitive and emotion regulation of social workers, leading to improved stress, burnout, mental health, and well-being. This randomised controlled trial (RCT) aimed to replicate and expand the findings of an earlier RCT of MBSWSC, with a wider group of social work professionals (including managers), by evaluating the effects of MBSWSC (n = 29) versus an active control (n = 31). Replication of RCTs acts as an important means by which findings can be confirmed, results replicated, generalisability assessed and processes and applicability improved. When compared to an online active control group, MBSWSC (which was also delivered online) was found to improve stress, emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation of service users, anxiety, depression, well-being, along with a range of mindfulness mechanisms of action which support cognitive and emotion self-regulation. The results from this study evidence the acceptability, effectiveness and durability of MBSWSC, and provide clear guidance that if MBSWSC is implemented across social work services, social workers are likely to experience improvements in these critical social work practice and self-care outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberbcae011
Pages (from-to)1319-1339
Number of pages21
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
Volume54
Issue number3
Early online date12 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cognitive and emotion regulation
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • social work practice
  • stress

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