The authors of a recent JAMA Commentary1 promoted clinician mindfulness as one way to better ensure patient safety. What exactly is mindfulness?
In Teaching Mindfulness: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Educators, authors Donald McCown, Diane Reibel, and Marc Micozzi attempt to answer that question and to propose methods for teaching mindfulness, not only for health care professionals but also for patients. On page 5, the authors point out that mindfulness-based interventions currently are being used to study the responses of patients with diverse conditions such as asthma, cancer, AIDS, hypertension, and psychiatric disorders including anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders (among many others). For this reason, the authors believe that clinicians should know as much as they can about mindfulness.