Systematic review on mindfulness wins Leonard E. Gibbs Award

The Leonard E. Gibbs Award, created by the Social Welfare Coordinating Group (SWCG) Editorial Board, is awarded to the authors of a completed Campbell systematic review published by the SWCG that contributes to evidence-informed practice in social welfare. The first Leonard E. Gibbs Award was presented at the Campbell Collaboration Colloquium in Oslo in May 2009.

The SWCG is pleased to announce that this year's recipient of the Leonard E. Gibbs Award goes to Brandy R. Maynard, Michael R. Solis, Veronica L. Miller and Kristen E. Brendel for their review "Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Improving Cognition, Academic Achievement, Behavior, and Socioemotional Functioning of Primary and Secondary School Students". This review has been featured in various venues since it was published, including The Times, Mental Elf, Education Week, HeatStreet, and Mental Health Today.

With the diverse application and findings of positive effects of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) with adults, as well as the growing popularity with the public, MBIs are increasingly being used with youth. MBIs are interventions that use a mindfulness component, broadly defined as "paying attention in a particularly way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally", often with other components, such as yoga, cognitive-behavioral strategies, or relaxation skills training. Over the past several years, MBIs have received growing interest for use in schools to support socio-emotional development and improve behavior and academic achievement. This review examined the effects of school-based MBIs on cognitive, behavioral, socio-emotional and academic achievement outcomes with youth in a primary or secondary school setting.

The findings of the review, which included 44 randomized and quasi-experimental studies, indicated mixed results of school-based MBIs, with favorable effects on cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes, but a lack of evidence of significant effects on behavioral and academic outcomes. The quality of the evidence varied, with some important risks of bias present across a large proportion of studies, calling for caution in interpreting the results and a need for larger and more rigorous studies.

The review and a two-page plain language summary are available to download in PDF format from the Campbell online library: click here.

Dr Leonard E. Gibbs (1943 to 2008), Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was an internationally recognized expert in the field of evidence-based practice (EBP) and a fervent proponent of EBP in the helping professions. He epitomized this approach even as he fought his own battle with advanced metastatic prostate cancer.

As part of his legacy, Len's widow, Betsy McDougall-Gibbs, has established the Leonard E. Gibbs Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evidence-Based Practice, through the Campbell Collaboration. Each year, the Leonard E. Gibbs Fund will honor the winning review team with one fully paid registration to the Campbell Collaboration Colloquium, where they will be recognized for their groundbreaking work. For more information about the award, click here.

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