In adults in prison populations, how effective are mindfulness based interventions, in improving patient outcomes?
There is very little evidence available which looks specifically
into the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions for adults in
prison populations. More high quality research in this area is
required and it is also important that long-term follow up studies
are conducted in order to adequately assess the effectiveness of
mindfulness interventions on improving patient outcomes.
Clinical and research implications
Evidence about the effectiveness of mindfulness interventions in
adult prison populations is weak. Only one, small randomised
control, with substantial methodological weaknesses, specifically
stated that the meditation intervention being evaluated was
mindfulness based. Although this trial did report that the
intervention was associated with significant improvements in
depression, anxiety and overall mood, outcomes were measured
immediately post-intervention and no long-term follow-up was
reported. In addition, the study was conducted in male long-term
prisoners in China, all of whom had committed serious offences, and
may therefore be of limited applicability to the general prison
population in the UK.
Studies are needed to assess the effects of specific mindfulness
interventions. Interventions should be clearly described and
compared to alternative active interventions as well as control
groups. Possible differential effects of mindfulness interventions
in different types of prison populations should be investigated.
Long-term follow-up is particularly important to determine whether
any observed effects persist beyond the study period.
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