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The Concept of Mindfulness in Integrative Preventive Medicine 

The Concept of Mindfulness in Integrative Preventive Medicine
Chapter:
The Concept of Mindfulness in Integrative Preventive Medicine
Author(s):

Kim Aikens

and Shauna Shapiro

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190241254.003.0005
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date: 19 September 2018

This chapter discusses mindfulness as it applies to integrative preventive medicine. Defining mindfulness as the awareness that arises through intentionally attending in an open, caring, and discerning way, the chapter proposes three core mindfulness elements: intention, attention, and attitude. It explores the potential application of mindfulness to primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The chapter looks at the impact of mindfulness on health promotion and examines mindfulness as a secondary prevention strategy, particularly in hypertension and diabetes. It then addresses tertiary prevention and the impact of mindfulness in chronic disease. Lastly, mindfulness as a preventive strategy for psychological well-being is explored. Overall, there is strong evidence suggesting that mindfulness is positively associated with healthy lifestyle as well as improvements in depressive symptoms, stress, anxiety, quality of life, physical outcomes, and positive psychological health.

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