Here's what the science says: mindfulness in schools can deliver positive outcomes among staff and students.

Mindful schools

Curtin University Pilot Study

MMA is very excited to team up with Dr David Lawrence and his team of researchers at Curtin University to begin a two-school pilot study.

The overall aim of the study is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the MMA Framework, focussing on the classroom setting, the feasibility of both the program and the data collection methods, and to improve the chances of obtaining future external research funding from the Australian Research Council or Healthway for a full-scale evaluation study.

Now that the research has been approved by the Department of Education we have started the process of selecting schools with the intention to start the study in term three.

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Formative Evaluation of Mindfulness in Schools

Dr Stacey Waters from Health Promotion Solutions conducted a case study for MMA that explored current mindfulness practice in West Australian schools.

This groundbreaking research was a series of curriculum based case studies within schools known to be implementing mindfulness programs or strategies.

The case studies included interviews and focus groups with both students and key stakeholders at each school, as well as interviews. Evidence documenting the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of these programs and strategies was collated and evaluated.

The purpose of each school-based case study was to develop a holistic view of how mindfulness programs work in each school. This information has informed recommendations for Mindful Meditation Australia to implement mindfulness programs in schools across Western Australia.

Learn more about our whole school approach

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Importance of mindfulness in schools

Dr Richard Chambers presented a keynote on the importance of mindfulness in schools, and the function of meditation and mindfulness in the human brain.

With particular focus on education and classroom behaviour, Dr Chambers put forward a compelling case for the necessity of mindfulness being a fundamental part of the classroom model in order to establish a well-rounded education.

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‘The Mindful Path to Nursing Accuracy: A Quasi-Experimental Study on Minimizing Medication Administration Errors’ - Abstract

Holist Nurs Pract 2021;35(3):115–122

Connie Lynne Ekkens, DHA, MT, AMT ; Pamela Ann Gordon, PhD

Achieving error-free health care is critically vital and includes freedom from the occurrence of medication errors, which, as yet, is an unrealized goal in the United States. The purpose of this study was to minimize or potentially eliminate medication errors by adding training in mindfulness thinking to the current system protocol. The goal of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to determine whether training nurses in mindfulness thinking founded on the Dossey Integral Theory changed the frequency and severity of medication administration errors. Data analysis included the following steps: recording of data using the NCC MERP (National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting) instrument, statistical analysis using paired t test, and a logistical interpretation of descriptive statistics. An error reduction of 73.3% between pre- and post-training mean for the experimental group was observed. This study may add to the limited body of research related to mindfulness and the resultant reduction in medication errors.

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The effect of short-term practice of mindfulness meditation in alleviating stress in university students - Abstract

Biomedical Research 2011; 22 (2): 165-171

Myint K, Choy KL, Su TT, Lam SK

Department of Physiology, Department of Molecular Medicine, and Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Although mindfulness meditation practice appears to confer positive effects on various clinical conditions, physiological responses to this practice in healthy individuals are largely unknown. This study is aimed at evaluating the physiological effects of short-term mindfulness meditation in university students intending to take a written term examination. Young healthy university students (n=18) recruited as participants were divided equally into a meditation group without examination stress, a non-meditating group with examination stress, and a meditation group with examination stress. The meditation intervention groups were offered mindfulness practice twice daily of 1 h each time for a period of 5 weekdays, except for weekends, for 3 consecutive weeks. The parameters measured included heart rate, blood pressure and serum cortisol. Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) were also obtained to monitor any negative psychological symptoms. All parameters were measured before intervention, just after intervention, which also coincided with the eve of the academic examination and at 3 weeks after. The DASS-Stress scale was significantly (p<0.05) reduced after intervention in the meditation group with no examination challenge. However, no significant changes were found in the cardiovascular and cortisol outcomes amongst all groups for all time lines. Even though these findings did not show any significant physiological responses to the short-term mindfulness practice in stressful conditions, nonetheless, the results demonstrate the potential benefits of this practice in alleviating stress in the neutral environment of university students. Future studies should address the effects of mindfulness practice in larger groups exposed in stressful situations. Key words: University examination stress; mindfulness meditation; physiological effects