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Assessing the role of a mobile telephone text message based service and attitudes towards mindfulness in mindfulness practice.

Assessing the role of a mobile telephone text message based service and attitudes towards mindfulness in mindfulness practice.

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Aria Danesh. Originally submitted for Psychology Report at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr Barbara Dritschel in the category of Psychology
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Aria Danesh. Originally submitted for Psychology Report at University of St. Andrews, with lecturer Dr Barbara Dritschel in the category of Psychology

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
Assessingtheroleofamobiletelephonetextmessagebasedserviceandattitudestowardsmindfulnessinmindfulnesspractice.Wordcountinbodyofessay:4995
 
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Abstract
Theoryandresearchsuggeststhatmindfulnesshassalutaryimplicationsforourpsychologicalwellbeing,cognitivefunctioningandphysicalhealth,withmaintenanceofmindfulnesspracticeresultingingreaterbeneficialoutcomes.Mindfulness-basedclinicalinterventionsrelyheavilyonhomemindfulnesspractice.Thepresentstudyexaminestwofactorsthatmayplayanimportantpartinmindfulnesspractice:remindersandattitudestowardsmindfulness.Participantsattendedamindfulnesstastersessionandwereencouragedtopracticeasoftenaspossibleover4weeks.Forty-oneparticipantswererandomlyallocatedtooneofthreetreatmentconditions(textprompt,textquote,notext),andcompletedpre-andpost-interventionmeasuresofmindfulnessandattitudestowardsmindfulness.Thetextmessagingconditions(promptandquote)significantlyincreasedthetotalmindfulnesspracticetimecomparedtocontrol,withthepromptgroupperformingmoremindfulnessthanthequotegroup.Attitudestowardsmindfulnesswerenotassociatedwithreportedmindfulnesspractice.Theresultssuggestthatatextmessageservicehasthepotentialtobeaninexpensive,easytoadminister,clinicallyrelevanttooltoimprovemindfulnesspracticeadherence.Furtherimplicationsoftheresultsandmethodologicalweaknessesarediscussed.
Keywords:
Mindfulnesspractice-Textmessage-Attitudes
 
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Assessingtheroleofamobiletelephonetextmessagebasedserviceandattitudestowardsmindfulnessinmindfulnesspractice.Mindfulnessisoftendefinedas“theawarenessthatemergesthroughpayingattentiononpurpose,inthepresentmoment,andnonjudgmentallytotheunfoldingofexperiencemomentbymoment”(Kabat-Zinn,2003,p.145).Akeycomponentofmindfulnessismindfulnessmeditation(Halliwell,2010).MindfulnessoriginallystemsfromEasterncontemplativetraditions,whichpositthatregularformalmindfulnessmeditationcultivatesthisstateofconsciousness(Shapiro,Carlson,Astin&Freedman,2006).Inrecentdecades,anumberofclinicalinterventionsincorporatingmindfulnessmeditationpracticeshavebeendeveloped(Halliwell,2010),includingmindfulness-basedstressreduction(MBSR;Kabat-Zinn,1990),mindfulness-basedcognitivetherapy(MBCT;Segal,Williams,&Teasdale,2002),acceptanceandcommitmenttherapy(ACT;Hayes,Strosahl,&Wilson,1999)anddialecticalbehaviourtherapy(DBT;Linehan,1993).Intheseprogrammes,mindfulnessisconceptualisedasaskillsetthatcanbetaughtanddevelopedwiththeaimtopromotewellbeingandamelioratepsychologicaldistress(Baer,Smith,Hopkins,Krietemeyer,&Toney,2006).Empiricalresearchsupportsthisproposedroleofmindfulnessinwellbeing:traitmindfulnessisassociatedwithgreateremotional-subjectivewellbeing,physicalhealth,lowerlevelsofdepressionandanxiety,improvedattentionalcontrol,andgreateraffectregulationability(Brown&Ryan,2003;Brown,Ryan&Creswell,2007;Chambers,Lo,&Allen,2008).ThereisagrowingbodyofliteraturesupportingtheefficacyofMBSRtoimprovepsychologicalfunctioning.Reportedtreatmentchangesincludereductionsinpsychologicaldistress,perceivedstress,anger,depressionandanxiety.MBCThasbeenfoundtoimprovedepressivesymptomsinremitteddepressedindividualsandlowerdepressionrelapseratesinthosewiththreeormoreepisodesofdepression(forareviewseeKeng,Smoski,&Robins,2011).InMBSRandMBCTregularformalpracticeisemphasisedasacrucialpartofthetherapy,with45-minutesdailypracticebeingrecommendedduringtheprogrammeandfollowingcoursecompletion.Theoretically,Segaletal(2002)postulatethatgreateroccurrenceandlengthoftimepracticingmindfulnessmayhavemorefavourableresultsasindividualsdeveloptheabilitytobemindfullyawareofandopentothepresentexperience.Thisshouldresultinreleasingthedesiretocontrolnegativeemotionsandtherebyallowingtheemotionstopasswithlessdetrimentaleffects(Langdon,Jones,Hutton,&Holttum,2011).Researchhascorroboratedthetheoreticalimportanceofhomepractice:CarmodyandBaer(2008)foundthattheamountofformalmindfulnesspracticeoutsideofMBSRsessionswassignificantlyassociatedwiththelevelofincreaseintraitmindfulness.Thisinturnmediatedtherelationshipbetweenpracticetimeandimprovementsinwellbeingandsymptoms.Assessingthefactorsthatinfluencemaintenanceofmindfulnesspracticethereforeappearstobeaprudenttask.

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