Investigator: Marise Fallon
Supervisor: Dr Bruno Cayoun
Co-supervisor: Associate Professor Greg Hannan
Institution:University of Tasmania, School of Psychology (MA research)
This study investigated 3 important aspects of mindfulness training; mindfulness of breath (MOB), body scanning (BS) and applied practice (AP) of mindfulness in daily actions. An important and yet unanswered question is the differential benefits that each of these techniques produce.
The study aimed to help clarify what best mechanisms of action should be emphasised during training. In small groups of 8 to 12 people, 268 participants recruited from the general community were randomly assigned to one of three training groups, body-scanning, mindfulness of breath and mindfulness in daily actions and attended an 8-week course, with 2-hour weekly classes. The dependant variables included the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larson, & Griffin, 1985), the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer, 2004) and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (Baer et al., 2006).
Full data collected from 100 trainees at four time points (pre-training, post-training, 3-month and 6-month follow-up) showed that all three techniques led to significant improvements on all measures and didn’t seem to differ significantly from each other, except when age was added as covariate: Participants aged 46 and over benefitted significantly more from body-scanning than from other mindfulness methods on the emotion regulation scale. This may have implications for clinical groups, where teaching clients to regulate emotion to address crises and prevent relapse is of central interest.