What works in wellbeing: a randomised controlled trial of mindfulness in policing

Randomised Control Trial Status


Trial Hypothesis

  • ​Online training in mindfulness will improve wellbeing, resilience and performance for police officers and staff (primary outcomes) 
  • Online training in mindfulness will improve mindfulness skills, reduce sick leave, presenteeism and leaveism (secondary outcomes) 
  • Bespoke training aimed at police officers (Mindfit Cop) will improve wellbeing, resilience and performance for police officers and staff more effectively than a generic mindfulness intervention (Headspace) 
  • Mindfulness training is more likely to be effective for people with high levels of job control in terms of how they structure their day and do their tasks.

Geographical area

​UK: Bedfordshire; Cambridgeshire; Hertfordshire; Avon and Somerset; South Wales.

Research Institution / Organisation

College of Policing

In Collaboration With

Bedfordshire Police; Cambridgeshire Constabulary; Hertfordshire Constabulary; Avon and Somerset Constabulary; South Wales Police.

Contact Name

Dr Helen Fitzhugh

Project Start Date

June 2018

Participants - inclusion criteria

​Any police officer or staff member within the five forces who is not:

a)  actively using a mindfulness app already, or
b)  receiving talking therapy currently.

Target Sample Size


Study Design

​All officers and staff in the five forces will be invited to take part in the trial. Those who volunteer will be randomly allocated to one of three groups (Headspace, Mindfit Cop or a waiting list). This study is a basic randomised design comparing two treatment groups (mindfulness training) to control.


  • Treatment 1:  receives free access to the 'Headspace' app/online course
  • Treatment 2:  receives free access to the 'Mindfit Cop' web app/online course

Outcome Measures

  • ​Wellbeing - measured using the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (7 items)
  • Resilience - measured using the Brief Resilience Scale (6 items), and
  • Work performance - measured using a question from the WHO performance scale.

Date due for completion

September 2019

Date last updated

Thursday 13 June 2019
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