Aim: To report an analysis of the concept of mindfulness.
Background: Mindfulness is an emerging concept in health care that has significant implications for a variety of clinical populations. Nursing uses this concept in limited ways, and subsequently requires conceptual clarity to further identify its significance, use and applications in nursing.
Design: Mindfulness was explored using Rodgers evolutionary method of concept analysis.
Data sources: For this analysis, a sample of 59 English theoretical and research-based articles from the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature database were obtained. The search was conducted between all-inclusive years of the database, 1981-2012.
Review methods: Data were analysed with particular focus on the attributes, antecedents, consequences, references and related terms that arose in relation to mindfulness in the nursing literature.
Results: The analysis found five intricately connected attributes: mindfulness is a transformative process where one develops an increasing ability to 'experience being present', with 'acceptance', 'attention' and 'awareness'. Antecedents, attributes and consequences appeared to inform and strengthen one another over time. Mindfulness is a significant concept for the discipline of nursing with practical applications for nurse well-being, the development and sustainability of therapeutic nursing qualities and holistic health promotion.
Conclusion: It is imperative that nurse well-being and self-care become a more prominent focus in nursing research and education. Further development of the concept of mindfulness could support this focus, particularly through rigorous qualitative methodologies.
Keywords: concept analysis; evolutionary method; holistic; mindfulness; nursing; presence; self-care.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.