Mindfulness in Physical and Occupational Therapy Education and Practice: A scoping review

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Physical Therapy Reviews, 2017, 22 (5-6), pp. 221 - 228
Issue Date:
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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: Mindfulness practices provide numerous benefits for individuals with a variety of health issues. Recent research has highlighted the benefits of mindfulness for health professionals. The potential benefits for physical and occupational therapists or students however, are currently unclear. Objectives: To perform a scoping review on the effects of mindfulness practices among physical (PT) and occupational therapists (OT) and students of those disciplines. Methods: Eligible published articles in English were identified through a literature search of MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and AMED from the inception of databases to November 2015. Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were screened for the selection of relevant papers. Articles identified as editorials, correspondences, commentaries, case reports, abstracts alone, and review papers were excluded. Results: Six studies (two qualitative studies, one quantitative study, one mixed-method study, and two experimental studies) met the inclusion criteria. Three studies focused on PT/OT students, two on clinicians and one on current clinicians who had previously failed a course. These studies highlighted the potential benefits of mindfulness for physical and occupational therapists. They should be interpreted with caution however, due to the small number of relevant studies, high heterogeneity in mindfulness interventions and methodological limitations. Conclusions: There is a paucity of research on the effects of mindfulness among physical and occupational therapists and students of those disciplines. The lack of relevant studies makes a systematic review challenging but the findings of the current studies suggest potentially promising effects.
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