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At Breathworks we aim to continually evaluate the clinical effects of our mindfulness-based pain management programme, and to maintain an ongoing programme of research partnerships and collaborations.  Details of results and published studies are listed below.

Evidence of Success - Executive Summary

  • Breathworks Executive Summary: Living Well Programmes - Mindfulness Approaches to Health and Wellbeing
    PDF download or HTML

Further documents can be read in conjunction with the Executive Summary:

  • Article 1. The evidence base for mindfulness based interventions for chronic pain
    PDF download or HTML
  • Article 2. Mindfulness - definitions and description of its role in clinical settings
    PDF download or HTML
  • Article 3. The distinction between mindfulness and other psychological therapies for the treatment of chronic pain
    PDF download or HTML
  • Article 4. Table of quantitative evidence
    PDF download or HTML

The full powerpoint of our research is also available as PDF download.

Quantitative Published Studies

1. Psychobiological correlates of improved mental health in patients with musculoskeletal pain after a mindfulness-based pain management program.

Christopher A. Brown, PhD and Anthony K. P. Jones, MD

Human Pain Research Group, University of Manchester Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford, UK

Clinical Journal of Pain, 2013, Mar;29(3):233-44.

Abstract here

This study, conducted by the Human Pain Research Group (within the Clinical Neurosciences Group at the University of Manchester), investigated the therapeutic mechanisms of mindfulness-based pain management in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Patients were assessed using a series of tests (such as sustained attention tasks, EEG scans and questionnaires) before and after the Breathworks Mindfulness for Health programme. The lead author stated that: "The Breathworks programme improved the mental well-being of patients and their sense of being able to control their pain symptoms. These improvements were related to changes in patterns of activity in brain regions involved with cognitive control and emotional regulation."  Further detailed studies are in the planning stages.

2. Evaluation of the Breathworks mindfulness-based pain management programme: Effects of well-being and multiple measures of mindfulness

Cusens B1, Duggan GB, Thorne K, Burch V.

Clinical Psychology and Psychotheraphy. 2010 Jan-Feb;17(1):63-78.

Abstract here

Further details are also available in the associated PhD thesis (Bryony Cusens, 2009, University of Bath).

Qualitative Published Studies

1. Experiencing Wellness Within Illness: Exploring a Mindfulness-Based Approach to Chronic Back Pain

Natasha J. Doran (PhD)

Qualitative Health Research, 2014, June, vol. 24, no. 6, pp 749-760

Abstract here

A longitudinal qualitative study that included sixteen people from the Breathworks programme.

For more about this project:

  • A poster presentation (PDF download or HTML) from the Annual Scientific Meeting of the British Pain Society 2009
  • Powerpoint Presentation HTML summary of a subset of the results (powerpoint download)
  • Doran, N J (2007) Journeys through health-care: A qualitative study exploring perceptions and experiences of health seeking for chronic back pain in the north-west of England, (PhD Thesis). Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, School of Medicine, Division of Primary Care. University of Manchester, Quantitative Studies. pp 1 – 265. (Available from the John Rylands library, University of Manchester by inter-library loan or direct from the library.)

Other Studies

1. Department of Health – staff well-being pilot

At the beginning of 2013, Breathworks successfully bid to run an innovative wellbeing pilot for staff of the Department of Health at their main offices in London and Leeds, UK.  The programme was designed as a health and wellbeing support initiative for staff, and as a “proof of concept” study assessing benefits and challenges to wider implementation.

  • Statistically significant changes for the group as a whole included:
  • Reduced Perceived Stress.
  • Improvement in Satisfaction with Life.
  • Improved Wellbeing.
  • Reduced sense of isolation.
  • Less likely to be overwhelmed by painful thoughts and feelings.

2. Randomised Control Trial into Online Mindfulness Training for Chronic Pain

The study was a randomised controlled trial with a partly active control group. 21 participants from the intervention group and 40 participants from the control group completed post measurement. The intervention group, who took part in the Mindfulness for Health online course, demonstrated:

  • increased levels of mindfulness,
  • reduced pain related distress
  • heightened pain acceptance
  • increased quality of life
  • a strong tendency towards a perceived reduction of pain intensity

The research is available as PDF download.

3. Mindfulness and work preparedness pilot programme

Breathworks completed this inspiring and successful programme in collaboration with the Department of Health North West and National Health Service North West.

For more details see here

Current Research

Breathworks is engaged in an on-going programme of research with university and hospital partners. If you are interested in discussing a collaboration please contact our research lead, Colin Duff: