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Effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision on teacher mental health and school climate: results of the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial

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Willem Kuyken, Susan Ball, Catherine Crane, Poushali Ganguli, Benjamin Jones, Jesus Montero-Marin, Elizabeth Nuthall, Anam Raja, Laura Taylor, Kate Tudor, Russell M. Viner, Matthew Allwood, Louise Aukland, Darren Dunning, Triona Casey, Nicola Dalrymple, Katherine De Wilde, Eleanor-Rose Farley, Jennifer Harper, Verena Hinze & 19 more Nils Kappelmann, Maria Kempnich, Liz Lord, Emma Medlicott, Lucy Palmer, Ariane Petit, Alice Philips, Isobel Pryor-Nitsch, Lucy Radley, Anna Sonley, Jem Shackleford, Alice Tickell, Sarah-Jayne Blakermore, Obioha C. Ukoumunne, Mark T. Greenberg, Tamsin Ford, Tim Dalgleish, Sarah Byford, J. Mark G. Williams

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalEvidence-Based Mental Health
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Accepted/In press30 Mar 2022
Published1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust (WT104908/Z/14/Z and WT107496/Z/15/Z) and supported by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN). For the purposes of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission. Susan Ball, Ben Jones and Obi Ukoumunne were supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula. JM-M has a “Miguel Servet” research contract from the ISCIII (CP21/00080). Publisher Copyright: © 2022 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

Background Education is broader than academic teaching. It includes teaching students social-emotional skills both directly and indirectly through a positive school climate. Objective To evaluate if a universal school-based mindfulness training (SBMT) enhances teacher mental health and school climate. Methods The My Resilience in Adolescence parallel group, cluster randomised controlled trial (registration: ISRCTN86619085; funding: Wellcome Trust (WT104908/Z/14/Z, WT107496/Z/15/Z)) recruited 85 schools (679 teachers) delivering social and emotional teaching across the UK. Schools (clusters) were randomised 1:1 to either continue this provision (teaching as usual (TAU)) or include universal SBMT. Data on teacher mental health and school climate were collected at prerandomisation, postpersonal mindfulness and SBMT teacher training, after delivering SBMT to students, and at 1-year follow-up. Finding Schools were recruited in academic years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. Primary analysis (SBMT: 43 schools/362 teachers; TAU: 41 schools/310 teachers) showed that after delivering SBMT to students, SBMT versus TAU enhanced teachers' mental health (burnout) and school climate. Adjusted standardised mean differences (SBMT minus TAU) were: exhaustion (-0.22; 95% CI -0.38 to -0.05); personal accomplishment (-0.21; -0.41, -0.02); school leadership (0.24; 0.04, 0.44); and respectful climate (0.26; 0.06, 0.47). Effects on burnout were not significant at 1-year follow-up. Effects on school climate were maintained only for respectful climate. No SBMT-related serious adverse events were reported. Conclusions SBMT supports short-term changes in teacher burnout and school climate. Further work is required to explore how best to sustain improvements. Clinical implications SBMT has limited effects on teachers' mental and school climate. Innovative approaches to support and preserve teachers' mental health and school climate are needed.

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