"I am getting something out of this, so I am going to stick with it": supporting participants' home practice in Mindfulness-Based Programmes

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BACKGROUND: The practice of mindfulness at home is a core component of standard eight-week mindfulness-based programmes (MBP). Teachers of mindfulness courses require an understanding of the factors that need to be addressed to support participants in establishing and maintaining a mindfulness practice. METHOD: Here, we present a review of seven factors that we argue are important for participants' practice of mindfulness. We use the well-established model of Behaviour Change, the COM-B model (Capability, Opportunity, Motivation and Behaviour) to organise and consider these factors. For each factor, we first present a definition and then a discussion in relation to psychological, health and Buddhist literature. We illustrate the importance of each factor with quotes from MBP participant interviews. RESULTS: We discuss participants' Capability (planning/commitment, physical space), Opportunity (social support, the relationship with the teacher) and Motivation (readiness for self-care, beliefs about practice, self-efficacy, experiencing the rewards of practice), and how these lead to the target Behaviour (mindfulness practice). CONCLUSIONS: Our understanding, as teachers and researchers, of how best to support and guide participants during MBPs is at an early stage. We draw out practical lessons around each of the seven factors for mindfulness teachers in supporting participants' home practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
JournalBMC Psychology
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

    Research areas

  • Home practice, Homework, Meditation practice, Mindfulness, Treatment engagement

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