Mindfulness has been defined as:
“the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moments, and nonjudgmentally, to things as they are” (1, p. 1916)
Mindfulness and meditation strategies are where:
“participants learn to be purposively alert and attentive to the present moment and to self-observe in an objective and detached manner” (2, p. 29)
Mindfulness-based interventions for health care professionals and trainees have a moderate effect on anxiety, depression, psychological distress and stress ➕➕➕➕ . Other evidence has shown that mindfulness-based interventions have a moderate effect on self-compassion ➕➕➕  where interventions with a retreat component have a larger effect. Mindfulness-based interventions have also been shown to be moderately effective at reducing subjective stress in healthcare students, both in the short-term and long-term (6 months) ➕➕➕ .
This evidence summary is based on three meta-analyses. The first  explored the effect of mindfulness training for healthcare professionals and trainees on a range of wellbeing outcomes. All 38 studies included in this paper were randomised controlled trials and represented healthcare professionals and trainees from a range of professions. The risk of publication bias was low (732 studies with contrary findings would be needed to overturn their conclusions). The only issue was the significant heterogeneity statistic in relation to the effect on stress and anxiety ➕➕➕➕. The second study  explored the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on self-compassion in healthcare professionals. Only one-third of the included 27 studies were randomised controlled trials yet included a broad range of professions. There was very little risk of publication bias influencing the results and the heterogeneity score was low (I2 = 28.3%) ➕➕➕➕. The third study  focused on the effect of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress in medical students. Six studies were included, all randomised controlled trials, representing a range of healthcare students. The authors reported concerns relating to publication bias due to no blinding of the interventions or outcomes assessed yet the heterogeneity score was moderate (I2 = 45%) ➕➕➕.