St Mary’s University Research Centre wins contract to explore mindfulness and healthcare professionalism

The Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies (CBET) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham has won a £50,000 contract for a research project on the effectiveness of mindfulness approaches in developing healthcare professionalism.

In partnership with the University of Surrey, the project will be delivered for Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex (HEKSS) over a six month period commencing December 2014.

Prof Geoffrey Hunt, Director of CBET, explains, “The project undertakes a six month feasibility study on the theme of mindfulness for a sample of NHS staff across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. It will review the literature on the effectiveness of mindfulness in relation to healthcare practice; consult with mindfulness experts regarding methods to promote, evaluate and sustain mindfulness; and test the feasibility and methods to evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot mindfulness intervention with healthcare staff.

“If the feasibility study produces good results there will be an opportunity to expand the project into the delivery of mindfulness courses for professionals, not only in healthcare but in other public service fields.”

Prof Ann Gallagher, a specialist in nursing ethics at the University of Surrey, says she is looking forward to developing this partnership with St Mary’s over the longer term.