Traumatic bereavement and mindfulness: A preliminary study of mental health outcomes using the ATTEND model

Kara Thieleman, Joanne Cacciatore, Patricia Wonch Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This article presents a quasi-experimental study of a mindfulness-based intervention for traumatically bereaved individuals using a single group with pre-test and post-test design. The intervention consists of the ATTEND model, which is comprised of the following elements practiced by the clinician: attunement, trust, therapeutic touch, egalitarianism, nuance, and death education. The study is based on the charts of 42 clients seeking grief counseling at a mental health agency viewed retrospectively. Participants’ intake scores on the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), which measures trauma symptoms, and 25-item Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25), which measures depressive and anxious symptoms, were compared to their scores after an average of 14.64 hours of counseling. Paired samples t tests showed a statistically significant decline in trauma symptoms on the IES-R, and in anxious and depressive symptoms on the HSCL-25. These results provide preliminary support for the use of this mindfulness-based approach for difficulties associated with traumatic bereavement, though more extensive research is needed to determine the effectiveness of this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-268
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Social Work Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • Bereavement
  • Grief
  • Intervention
  • Mental health
  • Mindfulness
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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