Does mindfulness training change staff behaviours toward persons with developmental disabilities?
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To be mindful means to be in the moment, focusing on your mind, body and surroundings (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Mindfulness training programs for caregivers of persons with developmental disabilities can benefit the caregivers and their clients (Singh, Lancioni, Karazsia, Chan, & Winton, 2016). Few studies have reported effects on specific caregiving behaviours. In a multiple-baseline-across-participants experiment, a brief mindfulness training session was evaluated by directly observing: announcement of actions prior to contact with client, looking away from the client or caregiving activity, and making contact at the torso prior to touching an extremity. Participants were three adult female staff (two DSPs and one nurse) and one adult male client. Announcements and torso-before-extremity contact increased and looking away decreased for all staff following the training; not all improvements were maintained over an extended period. Client happiness and unhappiness indicators were measured before and after the training, but no clear effects were observed.