Concurrent Sessions

CD5 Mind the Gap: Creating a Successful Mindfulness Program

Theme 5. Optimizing use of resources

Presentation Details

  • Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
  • Concurrent Session C & D
  • Time: 8:30am-10:15am
  • Room:
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)

1. Mind, the Gap:  The Importance and  Effectiveness of Mindfulness Programming in Primary Health Care

Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)

Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Administrative staff

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to state the benefits of a mindfulness program within primary care and the recommended structure and content of a mindfulness program that promotes both knowledge and skill acquisition.
  2. This presentation will focus on the “lessons learned” in the implementation of a large scale program across both urban and rural patient populations and 5 FHO’s.


The Peterborough Family Health Team (PFHT) is a large family health team, serving both rural and urban patients and supports 5 FHO’s. PFHT began offering mindfulness programming 8 years ago. Since that time, the program has adapted and developed to meet the needs of the patient population. A patient centered approach of being able to increase access and accessibility to patients of all 5 FHO’s was a goal embarked on in 2016-2017 and the lessons learned from this will be provided. The program is now in great demand across Peterborough and county and approximately 24 mindfulness programs and over 360 patients are served yearly.  PFHT has supported the resourcing of this program due to program effectiveness and the ability to respond to patients who are challenged by many and differing health needs.  Reducing stress and improving coping is helpful in any health recovery and promotion.  As well the program has been implemented due to the substantial literature  research  supporting the effectiveness of mindfulness strategies to cope with a multitude of health issues.  Research also shows that group intervention can help participants acquire skills and knowledge, allows participants to experience the “universality” of the human experience, promotes socialization and reduces social isolation – also a key ingredient in  positive health outcomes. The presentation will provide an overview of the program and how it has been adapted from other well known mindfulness programs to address patient needs. The implementation of this program has also informed other centralized group programming for PFHT such as CBT-Insomnia and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy.


  • Julie Brown, Mental Health Lead, Mental Health Clinician, Peterborough Family Health Team
  • Lori Richey, Executive Director, Peterborough Family Health Team

Authors & Contributors

  • Julie Brown
  • Lori Richey
  • Lyne Edington
  • Amanda Hiemstra

2. Development, Delivery and Evaluation of a Brief Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Group in a FHT: Practical Advice and Lessons Learned

Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)

Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers

Learning Objectives

Participants will learn about the development, delivery and evaluation of an abbreviated Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) group, led by social workers, in an interdisciplinary primary care setting.  Participants will come away with practical advice to assess the feasibility of offering a similar abbreviated MBSR in their own clinical setting.


Mental health conditions are among the most common and disabling conditions managed in Primary Care. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), typically given as an 8 week group, has been shown to help with stress and mood. There is emerging evidence that an abbreviated 4 week MBSR program is as effective as the 8 week group.  However there remains a paucity of practical information to guide primary care practitioners who wish to develop, execute and evaluate a MBSR programs.  The potential benefit of a shortened program is that it involves fewer resources from a human resources perspective, but it also may appeal to patients who may be more open to committing to a shorter group involving less time.  From a practical point of view a shorter clinic-based intervention is more likely to be feasible for primary health care teams to deploy regularly and may provide an entry into mental health services, especially as patients wait for more individual sessions due to high demand for services. To optimize care delivery with clinic resources, we evaluate the effectiveness of a 4 week MBSR Group delivered by two Masters level social workers with beginner MBSR training. The practice of mindfulness was measured with the validated Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ). There was pre and post group FFMQ evaluation as well as mailed questionnaires in follow-up at one, three and six month intervals. Participant satisfaction was also measured post group.


  • Vela Tadic MSW RSW, Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Educator; Adjunct Professor, Family Medicine, Bruyère Academic Family Health Team; University of Ottawa

Authors & Contributors

  • Elizabeth Muggah MPH MD FCFP, Family Physician, Bruyère Academic Family Health Team; Assistant Professor, Director of Quality Improvement, Family Medicine, University of Ottawa