Informing decisions to implement mindfulness-based programs at work 

In recent times, mindfulness-based programs have emerged as a very popular choice to support employees, and companies have invested considerably in these programs. However, mindfulness is not a ‘fix-all’. There is no evidence that mindfulness-based programs are more effective than other programs. It is therefore important that decision makers are given an accurate representation of the effectiveness of mindfulness, and that the science supporting mindfulness is correctly communicated. This project will explore what factors influence decisions to invest in mindfulness programs. Specifically, we will evaluate how confidence in mindfulness is impacted by presentation of the uncertainty regarding effects on wellbeing - that is, that mindfulness may not provide a large increase in wellbeing for everyone. We will also evaluate how confidence is impacted by social norms (i.e., everyone is doing it) attached to mindfulness.

University of Melbourne contributors:

  • Dr Caitlin Hitchcock, Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
  • Dr Julieta Galante, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Bonnie Wintle, Senior Research Fellow, Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science

External collaborators:

Dr Caitlin Hitchcock

Project lead | Dr Caitlin Hitchcock

Dr Caitlin Hitchcock is a clinical psychologist with clinical and research expertise in affective disturbance. She is currently an ARC-funded Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, and UKRI-funded Senior Scientist at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge.