The lived experience of learning mindfulness as perceived by people living with long-term conditions: A community-based, longitudinal, phenomenological study

Gillian Mathews*, Charles Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While a considerable research base demonstrates the positive effects of 8-week secular mindfulness courses, it remains unclear to what degree their participants continue to engage with mindfulness practices; and there is a dearth of published reports on longer-term mindfulness interventions. Studies have also tended to focus on clinical “effectiveness,” with less attention given to participants’ own construal and expectations of mindfulness. To address these gaps, the study reported here implemented a year-long mindfulness program for a group of 20 individuals with long-standing health conditions who gradually transitioned to self-guiding. Their experiences, expectations, and understanding of mindfulness were investigated through the lens of descriptive phenomenology. The findings revealed that mindfulness practice did bring therapeutic improvement but that it was a multi-faceted process where an individual’s intentionality toward practice was key, with a clear division between those pursuing an “embodied integrated” mindfulness and those viewing it as a stress management tool.

Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Health Research
Early online date19 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • chronic illness
  • experiential learning
  • mindfulness
  • qualitative research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The lived experience of learning mindfulness as perceived by people living with long-term conditions: A community-based, longitudinal, phenomenological study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this