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Exploring the impact of mindfulnesss on mental wellbeing, stress and resilience of undergraduate social work students

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Mindfulness is becoming more popular as emerging research demonstrates its benefits for self-care, by cultivating calmness and decreasing stress or anxiety. This pilot study aimed to measure the impact of a six-week Mindfulness course, modelled on the manualised treatment programme developed by Kabat-Zinn on the mental well-being, stress and resilience of undergraduate social work students in Northern Ireland. This was a mixed methods study involving two groups: (1) intervention group participants who attended a six-week Mindfulness course (April–May 2016) and (2) control group participants. Basic socio-demographic data were collected from all participants and all were invited to complete the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale and the Resilience Scale during weeks 1 and 6. Statistical tests were used to compare mean scores from the scales, and qualitative data were manually analysed using thematic content analysis. Findings indicated significant changes in the scores for well-being, stress and resilience for the intervention group, but not for the control group. Mindfulness may not appeal to all students so it should not be a mandatory component of training, but may be offered as one of the wider approaches to self-care for undergraduate social work degree students.
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Keywords: Students; education; organisations; research; research minded practice; stress

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Social Work, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK

Publication date: February 17, 2018

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