University of Tasmania
Bartlett_whole_thesis_ex_pub_mat.pdf (21.63 MB)

Clarifying and advancing the evidence for workplace mindfulness training in relation to employee stress, mental health, wellbeing and performance

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posted on 2023-05-28, 09:58 authored by Larissa BartlettLarissa Bartlett
On the basis of evidence that mindfulness training reduces stress and related health problems in clinical and community populations, investment in mindfulness as a workplace stress management intervention is growing. However, the established, time-intensive, class-based training protocols used in health research are often adapted for workplace delivery to accommodate the demands of contemporary work settings. Variations to the evidenced training format include less class and practice time, and technology-supported delivery to replace or augment face-to-face classes. Mindfulness-based programs designed for workplace delivery (W-MBPs) therefore include a wide range of programs that differ by training dose and delivery mode. While most of the evidence in support of mindfulness training focuses on stress and health-related outcomes, W-MBPs are promoted into workplaces with promises of improved job performance and prosocial behaviours. Further, the strength of evidence in mindfulness research is subject to critiques of bias because more than half of the published findings are reliant on single-source self-report questionnaire data. It is therefore unclear if the range of promised benefits from W-MBPs is supported by evidence. The primary aim of this thesis was to clarify and advance knowledge about the effectiveness of W-MBPs for employee stress, mental health and wellbeing, and for organisational outcomes including performance benefits. Key conclusions and future directions The work reported in this thesis clarifies the evidence for W-MBPs in relation to employee stress, mental health, wellbeing and performance. Results show workplaces can be reasonably confident that employees participating in a W-MBP will experience reduced stress and improved mental health and wellbeing. These benefits appear equivalent across different industries and prevail despite variability in training formats. App-based training appears beneficial for people who engage in brief mindfulness meditation practices more than once a week. However, class-based interaction seems to motivate engagement with app-based learning materials and self-guided app use appears insufficient for consistent benefits. Recommendations are made to enhance interactive functionality and include established behaviour change techniques in future mindfulness apps. Finally, the OMM offers a valid and reliable instrument that can be used in mindfulness research to supplement self-reported findings. Data obtained using the OMM may prove useful for future studies investigating the organisational outcomes of training such as performance and social benefits, which are currently lacking evidentiary support.


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 the author Chapter 3 appears to be the equivalent of a post-print version of an article published as: Bartlett, L., Martin, A., Neil, A. L., Memish, K., Otahal, P., Kilpatrick, M., Sanderson, K., 2019. A systematic review and meta-analysis of workplace mindfulness training randomized controlled trials. Journal of occupational health psychology, 24(1), 108‚Äö-126. Copyright American Psychological Association, 2019. This chapter is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: Appendix K is the published article and has been removed from the version of the thesis that will be available for download on 1 February 2022

Repository Status

  • Open

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