Salutogenesis in action: a nature based ‘mindfulness for health and wellbeing’ programme and its impact on daily life

Johnson, Stephen ORCID logo ORCID: (2018) Salutogenesis in action: a nature based ‘mindfulness for health and wellbeing’ programme and its impact on daily life. Doctoral thesis, University of Cumbria (awarded by Lancaster University).

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This research asks whether a focus on nature enables participants on a mindfulness programme to better assimilate mindfulness practice into their daily lives with resultant improvement in health and wellbeing, greater resilience and a more successful approach to their self-management of chronic illness. In doing so it has implications for approaches to healthcare delivery in the management of chronic conditions as well as the teaching and practice of other mindfulness approaches and similar therapeutic interventions. Improvements in participant health and wellbeing, particularly the impact on self-efficacy, the belief that the integration of mindfulness into their lives, their building of a regular practice, helps manage their health conditions and improve their sense of wellbeing, form a key element in the ‘sense of coherence’ that is the mainstay of the Salutogenic approach to health and wellbeing (Antonovsky, 1979). More than 15 million people in the UK live with chronic illness, accounting for more than 50% of all visits to general practitioners and 70% of hospital inpatient stays. This accounts for 70% of the NHS primary and acute care budget and yet it is felt that 70 - 80% of cases could be supported to manage their own conditions with mindfulness based approaches providing a low cost, long term form of such support. Although the separate fields of mindfulness, nature connection and chronic illness have each received attention in the academic literature, little academic research has examined the conjunction of these fields. This thesis builds bridges between the three areas. A research bricolage is constructed which follows participants with diverse backgrounds and chronic health conditions as they engage in a nature based mindfulness programme and subsequent follow-up over 12 months. These case studies are documented by participants using a variety of media and explored through a interpretative phenomenological lens. The study found that a nature focus did help participants incorporate mindfulness practice into their daily lives with resultant benefits in the management of their conditions and their perceived wellbeing. However it also highlighted barriers to successful integration including the impact of family support and ongoing medical interventions. In doing so it contributes to the teaching of mindfulness, providing new ways of engaging participants and a route to its improved integration in daily life. It provides insights into the difficulties faced by those learning mindfulness and leads to greater self efficacy in the management of chronic illnesses. A nature based mindfulness approach to health can improve self management while reducing health care costs in populations with diverse chronic illnesses.

Item Type: Thesis/Dissertation (Doctoral)
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Outdoor Studies
Additional Information: This thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Depositing User: STEPHEN JOHNSON
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2018 10:28
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 19:30


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