An evaluation of a short course in mindfulness for Health Visitor Practice Teachers

Project report

Greaves, J., Watson, J., Keen, H. and Health Education England working across Kent Surrey and Sussex 2016. An evaluation of a short course in mindfulness for Health Visitor Practice Teachers.
AuthorsGreaves, J., Watson, J., Keen, H. and Health Education England working across Kent Surrey and Sussex
TypeProject report

Practice Teachers (PTs) participated in an 8 week course, Mindfulness Based Cognitive for well-being and resilience. The evaluation was undertaken using three (3) evidenced based questionnaires: Perceived stress(PSS) (Cohen et al 1983), Self-Compassion Score SCS (Neff 2003) and Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) (Baer et al 2006) to identify outcomes for the mindfulness training. Findings indicate the impact on personal wellbeing and professional practice with recommendations for retention of students & Health Visitor (HV) workforce.

Mindfulness skills to support top performance and good mental health were offered in eight two-hour sessions to 18 Practice Teachers from September- December 2014 and was evaluated. The course drew on the approach of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, where participants learn to focus their attention and develop the possibility of creating the space for reflection and response rather than reacting to life’s difficulties. Participants had the opportunity to develop self–care and self-compassion in the sessions as well as in between sessions and which research has shown can have a positive effect on others. Compassion is a contemporary theme in the CNO’s strategy to return to the fundamentals of nursing; mindfulness enables the foundation of practising compassion on self and ultimately to practice compassion with others we work and care for.
The attendees were encouraged to review and refresh their practice through with the ultimate planned outcome, to reduce student attrition and prevent breakdown of the practice placement. However, this is a the complex area of adult learning and the nature of student attrition from courses as well as from the workforce cannot necessarily be reduced to one factor.
The practice of mindfulness can have an influential effect on health, well-being and resilience, as shown by scientific and medical evidence. This experiential course was neither therapy nor religious instruction but an effective means of helping to alleviate stress and promoting well-being, resilience and flourishing. The course was delivered at a time when practitioners, including PTs were experiencing an increase of student numbers and service delivery changes with associated imperative data collection. The perception of practitioners about the declared increase in the HV workforce (DH 2011) to support and implement these changes was not evident and the evaluation indicates the need for self-care and resilience in the workforce which includes students and practitioners.
The project outcomes make recommendations based on the impact of this mindfulness training with PTs to inform future developments within the programme and practice education as well as the HV workforce where a number of interventions call for 'mindfulness' with infants, children and families.

Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Deposited04 Nov 2016
Completed13 Oct 2016
FunderHealth Education England Kent Surrey and Sussex

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