The mindfulness based social work and self-care programme: a mixed methods evaluation study

Alan Maddock*, Pearse McCusker, Carolyn Blair, Audrey Roulston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During their social work education, students engage in a number of stressful learning activities, often simultaneously, which can
negatively impact their wellbeing, mental health and social work practice. Mindfulness practices are beginning to be integrated
into social work curricula globally to enhance student self-care along with key social work practice skills and values. This mixed
methods study examined the effects of a bespoke six-week online mindfulness-based social work and self-care programme
(MBSWSC) on the stress, burnout, wellbeing, anxiety and depression levels of thirty social work students from two universities in
the United Kingdom. This study also examined the effects of MBSWSC on a number of mindfulness-based mediators of change
in these outcomes. Participant perceptions of the benefits of the MBSWSC programme on their wellbeing and social work practice
are further explored via a thematic analysis of an open ended questionnaire. Statistically significant changes in all variables were
found post programme except for depression and loss of empathy/depersonalization, a facet of burnout. The qualitative data
provided a deeper insight into the potential benefits of the programme for the enhancement of student wellbeing, mental health
and anti-oppressive social work practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Publication statusAccepted - 29 Sep 2021


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