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This study evaluates the short and long-term effect of 5-10 minutes daily mindfulness and compassion training in school among children aged between 6-16 years old. The mindfulness intervention will last for 10 weeks and the results will be compared to children who do not perform mindfulness in school. Due to practical reasons, the study is not randomized; classes are instead placed in the mindfulness or control group. Anxiety, mental, physical and social health, quality of life, and school performance will be evaluated via questionnaires and school registries, before and after the intervention and thereafter once a year until the end of ninth grade (age 16 years). Long term health (diagnoses, medical consumption, and drug prescriptions) and family income (proxy for socioeconomic status) will be followed in regional and national registries until 25 years of age.
The hypothesis of the study is that mindfulness can prevent mental disorders and anxiety, and increase well-being in children and adolescents. The primary aim is to subsequently evaluate if regular, daily, mindfulness and compassion training (5-10 minutes) prevents anxiety and mental disorders in children and adolescents. Secondary aims are to evaluate 1) the effect of mindfulness on daily life, quality of life, and health in school pupils; 2) the effect of mindfulness on school performance; 3) the effect of mindfulness and compassion on the class room environment; 4) the effect of potential individual, family, and school-level risk factors on mental health in children and adolescents; 5) the effect of mindfulness on these potential risk factors.
Sessions are led by school teachers who have been educated in mindfulness. Their own levels of stress and mindfulness will be evaluated by a questionnaire and compared to teachers in control classes both before and after the intervention. The teachers will also be interviewed to evaluate the effect of mindfulness on the class room environment.
In a sub-study, the effect of mindfulness on brain structure and function will be examined by magnetic resonance imaging in school pupils aged 15-16 year old. This will be preceded by a pilot study, in which feasibility of the method is tested in the target group.
To achieve sufficient statistical power, taking into account a cluster effect to adjust for grouping of the pupils, 1750 children and adolescents will be recruited. Written informed consent is a prerequisite for participation.
Mindfulness and compassion
Center for Primary Health Care Research
Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-11-07T00:20:11-0500
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