Smith K, Firth K, Smeeding S, Wolever R, Kaufman J, Delgado R, Bellanti D, Xenakis L. Guidelines for Creating, Implementing, and Evaluating Mind-Body Programs in a Military Healthcare Setting. Explore (New York, N.Y.). 12(12). 18-33. PMID: 26686476 [PubMed]
Research suggests that the development of mind-body skills can improve individual and family resilience, particularly related to the stresses of illness, trauma, and caregiving. To operationalize the research evidence that mind-body skills help with health and recovery, Samueli Institute, in partnership with experts in mind-body programming, created a set of guidelines for developing and evaluating mind-body programs for service members, veterans, and their families. The Guidelines for Creating, Implementing, and Evaluating Mind-Body Programs in a Military Healthcare Setting outline key strategies and issues to consider when developing, implementing, and evaluating a mind-body focused family empowerment approach in a military healthcare setting. Although these guidelines were developed specifically for a military setting, most of the same principles can be applied to the development of programs in the civilian setting as well. The guidelines particularly address issues unique to mind-body programs, such as choosing evidence-based modalities, licensure and credentialing, safety and contraindications, and choosing evaluation measures that capture the holistic nature of these types of programs. The guidelines are practical, practice-based guidelines, developed by experts in the fields of program development and evaluation, mind-body therapies, patient- and family-centered care, as well as, experts in military and veteran's health systems. They provide a flexible framework to create mind-body family empowerment programs and describe important issues that program developers and evaluators are encouraged to address to ensure the development of the most impactful, successful, evidence-supported programs possible.