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21 Exploring the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention for staff in a palliative care setting
  1. Rebecca C Hill1,
  2. Lisa Graham-Wisener2,
  3. Anne Finucane3,
  4. Michele Kavanagh1,
  5. Noleen K McCorry1,
  6. Michael Donnelly1 and
  7. Martin Dempster1
  1. 1Queen’s University Belfast, N. Ireland
  2. 2Marie Curie Hospice Belfast, N. Ireland
  3. 3Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh, UK


Introduction Palliative care staff engage in emotional and stressful work; however, research is yet to offer any insights as to what types of psychosocial intervention can effectively improve staff psychological well-being (Hill, Dempster, Donnelly, & McCorry, 2016).

Aims This research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention (MBI), which was condensed to make it more feasible for staff to attend, to improve the psychological well-being of palliative care staff.

Methods The effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated quantitatively, using four psychological measures taken at baseline, post-intervention, and at follow-up with the intervention group; these measures were also taken at the same three time-points with a comparison group for comparison purposes.

Qualitative data was collected through interviews with intervention participants and then thematic analysis was used to garner information on the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of the intervention.

Results Participants in the intervention group had significant improvements in resilience (P =<0.001), self-compassion (p=0.003), and mindfulness (p=0.019), whereas the comparison group had no significant improvements on these outcomes.

Initial qualitative findings indicate staff found the mindfulness course a positive experience with some describing a big impact on their personal and/or working life and others describing that they’d taken something away - usually a preferred meditation that they could use a self-care tool but also a more balanced perspective on their thinking.

Conclusion This research suggests a condensed MBI can effectively improve staff psychological well-being; furthermore, findings can inform future development of MBIs for this setting.


  1. . Hill RC, Dempster M, Donnelly M, McCorry NK. Improving the wellbeing of staff who work in palliative care settings: A systematic review of psychosocial interventions. Palliative Medicine2016;30(9):825–833.

  2. . Neff KD, The development and validation of a scale to measure self-compassion. Self and identity2003;2(3):223–250.

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