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Comparing young people's experience of technology-delivered v. face-to-face mindfulness and relaxation: Two-armed qualitative focus group study

  • Conall Tunney (a1), Patricia Cooney (a1), David Coyle (a2) and Gary O'Reilly (a3)
Abstract
Background

The current popularity of mindfulness-based practices has coincided with the increase in access to mobile technology. This has led to many mindfulness apps and programs becoming available, some specifically for children. However, little is known about the experience of engaging with mindfulness through these mediums.

Aims

To explore children's experience of mindfulness delivered both face-to-face and through a computer game to highlight any differences or similarities.

Method

A two-armed qualitative focus groups design was used to explore children's experiences. The first arm offered mindfulness exercises in a traditional face-to-face setting with guided meditations. The second arm offered mindfulness exercises through a computer game avatar.

Results

Themes of relaxation, engagement, awareness, thinking, practice and directing attention emerged from both arms of focus groups. Subthematic codes highlight key differences as well as similarities in the experience of mindfulness.

Conclusions

These results indicate that mindfulness delivered via technology can offer a rich experience.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Conall Tunney, School of Psychology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. Email: conall.tunney@ucdconnect.ie
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

C.T., D.C. and G.O.'R. designed the mindfulness program, Mindful gNATs, used in the present study. P.C. is a researcher on another Pesky gNATs game. None of the authors receives any income from Pesky gNATs or Mindful gNATs, which are owned by Handaxe, a community interest company run on a not-for-profit basis.

Footnotes
References
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Comparing young people's experience of technology-delivered v. face-to-face mindfulness and relaxation: Two-armed qualitative focus group study

  • Conall Tunney (a1), Patricia Cooney (a1), David Coyle (a2) and Gary O'Reilly (a3)
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eLetters

Interesting study but requires some clarifications

Sadia Waheed, Acting up consultant CAMHS, Walsall CAMHS
24 April 2017

I critically appraised this paper at local meeting today and would be grateful if could get answers to the following questions.

I understand it was convenience sampling but I wonder whether there was a reason to pick 2 specific schools for research and not any others? Also could you shed some light as how the individual exercises in computer group were delivered as it states it was moderater run and not individually played by children and what was the duration of each task?

I am also interested to know if the feedback from boy's groups were any different to girls in each group?

Last but not the least, would the results been any different if the research was carried out on participants who actually had mental health problems and in whether the results were any different In disadvantaged socioeconomic school?

Thanks
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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