Using normalisation process theory to understand barriers and facilitators to implementing mindfulness-based stress reduction for people with multiple sclerosis

Robert Simpson, Sharon Simpson, Karen Wood, Stewart W. Mercer, Frances S. Mair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objectives: To study barriers and facilitators to implementation of mindfulness-based stress reduction for people with multiple sclerosis. Methods: Qualitative interviews were used to explore barriers and facilitators to implementation of mindfulness-based stress reduction, including 33 people with multiple sclerosis, 6 multiple sclerosis clinicians and 2 course instructors. Normalisation process theory provided the underpinning conceptual framework. Data were analysed deductively using normalisation process theory constructs (coherence, cognitive participation, collective action and reflexive monitoring). Results: Key barriers included mismatched stakeholder expectations, lack of knowledge about mindfulness-based stress reduction, high levels of comorbidity and disability and skepticism about embedding mindfulness-based stress reduction in routine multiple sclerosis care. Facilitators to implementation included introducing a pre-course orientation session; adaptations to mindfulness-based stress reduction to accommodate comorbidity and disability and participants suggested smaller, shorter classes, shortened practices, exclusion of mindful-walking and more time with peers. Post-mindfulness-based stress reduction booster sessions may be required, and objective and subjective reports of benefit would increase clinician confidence in mindfulness-based stress reduction. Discussion: Multiple sclerosis patients and clinicians know little about mindfulness-based stress reduction. Mismatched expectations are a barrier to participation, as is rigid application of mindfulness-based stress reduction in the context of disability. Course adaptations in response to patient needs would facilitate uptake and utilisation. Rendering access to mindfulness-based stress reduction rapid and flexible could facilitate implementation. Embedded outcome assessment is desirable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChronic Illness
Early online date26 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Apr 2018

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