Effectiveness and Risk Factors in Mindfulness Meditation

Soláriková Petra, PhD; Bartolen Igor, Mgr



Introduction Our research dealt with the evaluation of the effectiveness and risk factors present in interventions based on mindfulness meditation. The aim of this study was to explore the relationships between participant factors—the presence of physical illness, mental illness and trauma, aversive childhood experiences; program factors—the intensity and frequency of meditation; and teacher factors —competence. Subsequently, we evaluated how they affect the occurrence and interpretation of meditation experiences.

Methods A total of 52 participants participated in this research, which was an administrative form consisting of several questionnaires: the Short Adverse Childhood Experience Measure (SACEM), Meditation Experience Scale (MES), and Assessment of Mindfulness Teacher (AMT).

Results Higher ratings of teachers’ competence has a positive impact on the interpretation of meditation-related experiences. We found that the tendency towards negative assessment to a varying degree occurred in individuals with physical illness, mental illness, trauma and aversive childhood experiences, with a higher incidence of challenging experiences. The childhood abuse group seemed to be the most serious in this respect, which could be partly explained by the low-rated competence of the teacher’s mindfulness of meditation.

Discussion The results may provoke reflection on the process that takes place between the participants and the teacher leading the mindfulness-based intervention. The study results may serve as a suggestion for improving the mindfulness process and the competences of teachers themselves. They can provide preliminary information on what aspects of mindfulness intervention could be given more emphasis in order to increase its effectiveness, both for the benefit of the provider and the recipients. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2021;35(4):12-23.)

Soláriková Petra, PhD; Bartolen Igor, Mgr; Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia.


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