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Research Summaries

Web-based mindfulness meditation as an adjunct to Internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for public safety personnel: Mixed methods feasibility evaluation study

Keywords: Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICBT), Meditation, Mindfulness, PSPNET, Public Safety Personnel (PSP)

Why was the study done?

Public Safety Personnel (PSP) are at a high risk of developing mental disorders and face unique barrier to traditional mental health treatments. The PSP Wellbeing Course is an 8-week internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) course tailored to assist PSP with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The course has demonstrated success in reducing the impact of mental disorder symptoms, but some clients have reported challenges with learning skills and recommended adding more resources.

What was done in the study?

Mindfulness meditations were added to the course as a complementary resource. Mindfulness meditations help people to experience the world and their reactions to the world in open and nonjudgmental ways. The study was designed to evaluate whether a sample of 40 PSP liked the mindfulness meditations, engaged in the mindfulness meditations, and found the mindfulness meditations to be helpful. We also evaluated whether the use of mindfulness meditations was associated with changes in symptoms.

We added 5 mindfulness meditations to the pre-existing PSP Wellbeing Course. Once clients completed the course, we administered questionnaires and invited them to participate in interviews to learn about their experiences with the course.

What did we find out?

Course findings

  1. Of the 40 clients who enrolled in the course, 68% reported using the mindfulness meditations;
  2. Clients who completed the course experienced improvements in self-reported symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, and anger. They also reported improvements in resilience and mindfulness; and,
  3. Of the clients who used the mindfulness meditations, 93% said they would recommend them to a friend and 89% said that the mindfulness meditations were worth their time.

What did participants like?

  1. Participants reported mindfulness meditations:
    • Were beneficial;
    • Helped reduce stress and improve relaxation; and,
    • Helped them slow down and regulate their bodies and emotions.

What did participants not like?

  1. Participants reported certain challenges with the mindfulness meditations, including:
    • Feeling uncomfortable sitting with their feelings and emotions;
    • Difficulty finding time, motivation, and quiet space; and,
    • Technical issues.

What suggestions for improvement were made?

  1. Providing shorter mindfulness meditations;
  2. Providing videos with the mindfulness meditations; and,
  3. Providing distinct endpoints at the end of the mindfulness meditations (e.g., a bell chime to indicate when the meditation ends).

Where do we go from here?

  1. This study builds on prior evidence that ICBT is an effective, acceptable, accessible, and useful treatment for PSP; and,
  2. This study demonstrates that mindfulness meditations may be a useful addition to ICBT for PSP who are open to practicing mindfulness meditation.


The original wording of the study was changed and condensed for the current research summary.

Read the full article

Original study

Landry, C., McCall, H., Beahm, J., Titov, N., Dear, B., Carleton, R. N., Hadjistavropoulos, H. Web-Based Mindfulness Meditation as an Adjunct to Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Public Safety Personnel: Mixed Methods Feasibility Evaluation Study. JMIR Formative Research, 2024;8:e54132. URL: DOI: 10.2196/54132.

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