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Community and primary care nursing
Mindfulness training for primary care patients promotes chronic disease self-management behaviours
  1. David J Kearney
  1. Gastroenterogy Section, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr David J Kearney, GI, Seattle VAMC, Seattle, WA 98108, USA; kearney{at}

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Commentary on: Gawande R, To MN, Pine E, et al. Mindfulness training enhances self-regulation and facilitates health behaviour change for primary care patients: a randomized controlled trial. J Gen Intern Med 2019;34:293–302

Implications for practice and research

  • Referral of primary care patients to mindfulness training programmes can lead to improved depression and anxiety and increased likelihood of initiating an effective self-management strategy.

  • Longer term studies of behavioural change following mindfulness training are needed.


It is increasingly recognised that chronic physical illnesses (eg, arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia) commonly co-occur with mental health conditions (eg, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder). When mental illness is comorbid with chronic physical illness, outcomes are generally poorer, in part due to impaired self-management. This study by Gawande and colleagues studied the impact of mindfulness training for primary care patients on self-management by assessing the level of action plan initiation for …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.