Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Based on government reports, approximately 4.9 days per employee are lost to sickness per year, costing the economy approximately 9 billion a year on sick pay which averages at £760 per employee. There is strong research evidence to support the use of mindfulness-based interventions in a clinical a setting to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. This study will investigate if those benefits are transferable into the workplace and if mindfulness-based training would be a cost effective measure to reduce workplace sickness and improve quality of life. Mindfulness in the workplace is a fast growing area of interest but currently there is little robust research evidence to evaluate the impact. This study will evaluate the impact over a minimum one year period. Participants will be offered an 8 week mindfulness-based programme adapted for workplace delivery. The programme will be provided by trainers who have been trained by the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP), Bangor University (UK).
Who can participate?
Staff members in NHS England (up to 4 sites).
What does the study involve?
Everyone who takes part in the study will be offered mindfulness training in the workplace. The training is based on the popular 8 week mindfulness programme with adaptations for workplace delivery and an additional week for orientation. As part of the research into this training we will electronically issue questionnaires to two groups of people at a time: one group will receive the mindfulness training (the training group) and one will not (the control group). The questionnaires will be completed immediately before the first mindfulness training class (week 1) and immediately after the last class (week 9) of each programme. Then, after the training groups have received the training the control groups will be offered the training. Follow up periods will be immediately after the training, 3 months and 6 months post training. If possible there will also be a 12 month follow up. This process will be simultaneously replicated in up to 4 separate geographical sites across England NHS.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants may find it interesting and rewarding to participate in a research study. When participating in the mindfulness training participants may experience positive wellbeing outcomes such as perceived reduced anxiety, stress and depression levels (reported in many clinical studies). There is no identified risk in participating in this research.
Information we get from this study will help us understand more about how mindfulness in the workplace can help people deal with everyday stress and difficulties and will be used to advise and inform further research and possible implementation of the intervention. This means that by taking part participants will be helping others in the future.
Once the study has been completed we will provide everyone who took part with information about the findings.
Where is the study run from?
The study will be run from the coordinating centre at Bangor University with up to four recruiting centres across NHS England (Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and London).
When is study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study is expected to start in January 2014 for a period of 12 months.
Who is funding the study?
The study is part funded by Bangor University and by NHS England (UK).
Who is the main contact?
Ms Sharon Grace Hadley, Business Manager
Ms Sharon Grace Hadley
Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP)
+44 1248 382498
Longitudinal evaluation of cost effectiveness and wellbeing related variables of mindfulness training in the workplace
We hypothesise that:
1. Employees who receive mindfulness training will be less stressed / anxious / depressed than employees who do not have the training. We believe this will result in reduced sickness rates.
2. Employees who receive mindfulness training will be benefit from an improved quality of life. We hypothesise that these feelings of quality of life improvement will result in elevated state of mood and reduced levels of perceived stress.
3. We hypothesise that a reduction in employee perceived stress, improvement in quality of life and changes in mood will result in a different state of organisational culture.
4. We also hypothesise that from the impact of improved wellbeing and increased quality of life and perceived stress will come a cost benefit.
Bangor University School of Psychology Ethics Approval, 2013-9304
Phased blind multi-centre randomised controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet
Participants will be randomised to either mindfulness training (T) or control groups (C). The intervention is a 8 week taught mindfulness programme which will be measured using mainly a quantitative research method of self report questionnaires which will be electronically emailed to participants. There will be some qualitative interviews after the training has been completed to explore how practical it was for employees to experience this training in the workplace.
Primary outcome measure
1. Cost Effectiveness
Self-assessed levels of:
3. Quality of life
4. Mood States
They are measured at baseline, immediately after the intervention, 3 months post intervention, 6 months post intervention and 12 months post intervention.
Secondary outcome measures
If participants are in a leadership role: Leadership style questionnaires will be used to measure the impact on leadership style
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. The participant must be an employee within the workplace
2. The participant must be in work and interested in mindfulness
3. The participant must be able to give informed consent
4. The participant must be able to attend a minimum of 6 of the 8 sessions
Target number of participants
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Participants will be excluded if they have recently experienced trauma, are in deep depressive state or experiencing any mental health issues that would make the mindfulness training difficult
2. Participants will be excluded if they are unable to speak English
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice (CMRP)
Brigantia Building School of Psychology Bangor University Bangor Gwynedd
Bangor University (UK)
Funding Body Type
private sector organisation
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Not provided at time of registration.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not provided at time of registration
Basic results (scientific)