Mindfulness-based resilience training to reduce health risk, stress reactivity, and aggression among law enforcement officers

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178117318747

The primary objective of this study was to assess feasibility and gather preliminary outcome data on Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training (MBRT) for law enforcement officers. Participants (n = 61) were randomized to either an 8-week MBRT course or a no intervention control group. Self-report and physiological data were collected at baseline, post-training, and three months following intervention completion. Attendance, adherence, post-training participant feedback, and interventionist fidelity to protocol all demonstrated feasibility of MBRT for law enforcement officers. Compared to no intervention controls, MBRT participants experienced greater reductions in salivary cortisol, self-reported aggression, organizational stress, burnout, sleep disturbance, and reported increases in psychological flexibility and non-reactivity at post-training; however, group differences were not maintained at three-month follow-up. This initial randomized trial suggests MBRT is a feasible intervention. Outcome data suggest MBRT targets key physiological, psychological, and health risk factors in law enforcement officers, consistent with the potential to improve officer health and public safety. However, follow-up training or “booster” sessions may be needed to maintain training gains. A fully powered longitudinal randomized trial is warranted.