Starting where I am: a grounded theory exploration of mindfulness as a facilitator of transition in living with a long-term condition

Jaqui Long, Michelle Briggs, Andrew Long, Felicity Astin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To explore how practising mindfulness affects people's experiences of living with a long-term condition. Background: Increasing evidence suggest that mindfulness meditation-based interventions benefit people with long-term conditions, particularly in terms of psychological well-being. Most evidence, however, relates to short-term outcomes and limited information exists about how people use mindfulness in the longer term and how this affects their experience of living with their condition. Design: A qualitative study using constructivist-informed grounded theory. Methods: Using interviews, diaries and focus groups, data were collected between 2011 - 2012 from participants and/or trainers of Breathworks’ mindfulness intervention. Phased recruitment enabled theoretical sampling, with data analysed concurrently using Charmaz's two-stage coding strategy. Findings: The final sample comprised 41 adults with diverse physical and/or mental health conditions. Participants reported predominantly positive experiences, almost all identifying significant changes in thinking and behaviour. A core process of ‘Starting where I am’ was formulated, highlighting how people became more aware and accepting of their condition and thus able to self-care more effectively. The process was encapsulated in five themes: Getting a new perspective; Feeling equipped to cope; Doing life differently; Seeing a change; and Finding mindfulness difficult. Strong resonances were identified between participants’ experiences and the process of transition through which people come to terms with challenging life events. Conclusion: Mindfulness can be conceptualized as a facilitator of transition, enabling people to adapt to living with a long-term condition. Transition is associated with improved, self-directed self-management, which is significant to both people with long-term conditions and healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2445-2456
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Starting where I am: a grounded theory exploration of mindfulness as a facilitator of transition in living with a long-term condition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this