Interest in mindfulness, and its potential health benefits, has skyrocketed in recent years. The Mindfulness Center at Brown University, which aims to increase the quality of the mindfulness evidence base and promote the adoption of well-proven mindfulness practices, took an important first step in moving the field forward when it hosted a “Mindfulness and Cardiovascular Health Meeting” in January. According to the Center’s director, Eric Loucks, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the Brown School of Public Health, this was the first ever meeting of its kind.
“To our knowledge this is the first meeting of experts in the field of mindfulness and cardiovascular health to discuss the future of the field,” he said. “We hope that by engaging in this discussion we can offer opportunities to strengthen relationships in the community, promote the use of best practices, as well as open opportunities for future collaboration.”
Because the field of mindfulness is so young, large opportunities exist for collaboration, such as through merging datasets and performing multisite randomized controlled trials. The ten experts, gathered together for the meeting from across the country, represent a promising beginning for high quality multi-center collaborative work.
The two-day meeting’s most important outcome however, will be the creation of a set of recommendations for the development of this emerging research area. The recommendations, to be published in a peer-reviewed manuscript, will focus on three key areas: 1) Identifying gaps in knowledge where there is a clear need for answers, 2) Identifying the best pathways toward filling those knowledge gaps, and 3) Identifying the key mechanisms investigators should be exploring as a field.
Brown’s Mindfulness Center is proving itself an important player in the development of the field of mindfulness and cardiovascular health. Engaged in both collaboration and dissemination, the Center is actively advancing our understanding of mindfulness and how it might improve cardiovascular health.
Edward Keating, MD, Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute Providence, Rhode Island
Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, MD, PhD, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Eric Loucks, PhD, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Glenn Levine, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
Jennifer Daubenmier, PhD, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California
Jeffery Greeson, MS, PhD, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey
Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, UMass Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts
Sara Lazar, PhD, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sue Everson-Rose, PhD, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tanya Spruill, PhD, New York University, New York, New York