Mindfulness may combat staff burnout


Mindfulness in modern psychology relates to bringing complete attention to the present experience, often involving a non-judgmental attitude to that experience.

The authors in this study wanted to look at whether a new measure of staff values in learning disability services could help to better understand the potential effectiveness of mindfulness in the well being of support staff.

The measure they used is the Support Staff Values Questionnaire (SSVQ-ID).

They asked 59 support staff to complete a measure of psychological acceptance (the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire), the SSVQ-ID, and the Maslach Burnout Inventory.

They found promising results, suggesting that this is an area where further research is warranted. They also suggested that interventions related to improving mindfulness might increase support staff resilience, especially when working with people with a dual diagnosis.

Values and Psychological Acceptance as Correlates of Burnout in Support Staff Working With Adults With Intellectual Disabilities, Noone S & Hastings, R in Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 4, 2, 79-89

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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