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Poster Session - How does mindfulness impact the experience of healing in clinical environments?

By Mark E. Hardison and Shawn C. Roll


Statement of Purpose: Mindfulness interventions help patients focus nonjudgmentally on the experience of the present moment, to improve health-related outcomes. A growing body of literature shows mindfulness interventions to be effective at reducing pain, reducing anxiety, and enhancing well-being when provided by experienced mindfulness providers. Mindfulness interventions may be both directly occupational (e.g. the occupation of meditating) and indirectly occupational, that is, shaping the experience of other occupations (e.g. mindful eating). There is an emerging discourse in the occupational science literature that links mindfulness to occupation by emphasizing that mindfulness may interact with the process of doing, being, and becoming. However, there has yet to be a full exploration of how the occupation of mindfulness is experienced (e.g., directly or indirectly) when used in the context of rehabilitation for body-related disorders. The purpose of this study is to examine how mindfulness is deployed in physical rehabilitation and explore patient experiences on incorporating mindfulness as a direct or indirect adjunct to therapy. Methods: Data were collected through a systematic process of reviewing literature and small pilot study. A systematic search of PubMed, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, and PsycINFO was conducted using the search terms “therapeutics, rehabilitation, or alternative medicine” and “mindfulness”. No restrictions on year of publication or level of evidence were used. All original abstracts were screened and relevant full-text manuscripts were independently juried by both authors using the inclusion criteria: (1) described a mindfulness intervention, (2) relevant to occupational therapy, (3) targeted a body-related disorder, and (4) was provided in a rehabilitative context. The pilot study was conducted with eight patients receiving hand therapy for pain and deficits in hand function. Patients listened to an audio-recorded, mindfulness-based body scan prior to their standard therapy session. In a brief semi-structured interview, patients provided their perspective on the mindfulness intervention as it related to their therapy. Comments related to the participation in mindfulness as a direct occupation or as an adjunct to therapy were identified for this analysis. The methods of mindfulness intervention deployment identified from the literature search were compared and contrasted with data obtained from the patient interviews. Results: Of 1524 original abstracts, 188 full-texts were read, and 16 studies met criteria for inclusion. In the literature, mindfulness interventions ranged from structured mindfulness-based practices separate from the rehabilitation process to mindfulness activities integrated within rehabilitation. Both methods produced positive outcomes and participants generally reported that mindfulness was acceptable to them as an intervention, as well as noting the activities may have helped them engage in the process or rehabilitation. The hand therapy patients expressed mixed opinions regarding mindfulness as a direct occupation versus the usefulness of mindfulness for moderating the rehabilitation experience. Discussion: When used in physical rehabilitation mindfulness interventions are deployed and experienced as both a direct occupation and to indirectly impact the experience of rehabilitation. To maximize positive effects of mindfulness, further exploration is needed to better understand how patient preference, previous exposure to mindfulness, and other factors contribute to how patients experience mindfulness within rehabilitation

Publisher: CommonKnowledge
Year: 2015
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Provided by: CommonKnowledge
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