Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

This blog aims to provide you information about the five facet mindfulness questionnaire. In this blog you will be told about the uses of five facet mindfulness questionnaires, it’s properties, it’s scoring and interpretation method and the different versions of this questionnaire. Before we discuss the five facet mindfulness questionnaire, let’s take an overview of mindfulness, the factor on which this scale is based on. 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is defined as the ability of an individual to focus on the present moment rather than the past or the future. Mindfulness means to be aware of everything the individual is doing. Mindfulness helps an individual notice his thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behaviors accurately. Mindfulness helps increase the awareness of the individual about him and his surroundings. It has been found that mindfulness is a very effective technique to get rid of unpleasant feelings and psychological illnesses such as depression, stress, anxiety and so forth.  

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

Mindfulness is also known to reduce the symptoms of physical illnesses. It helps relieve stress and tension, lowers down the blood pressure level, reduces chronic pain, improves the sleep patterns, treats the gastrointestinal problems, improves mental health, helps regulate emotions effectively,  decreases the symptoms of depression, increases the focus and concentration level, aid in increasing the effectiveness of observation by allowing awareness about one’s senses that are sight, smell, hear, touch and taste. Thus, mindfulness is very important for us and it needs to be practiced regularly for staying healthy both mentally and physically. Mindfulness ensures the overall well-being of an individual. 

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

The five facet mindfulness questionnaire was developed by Ruth Baer, who was a professor and a mindfulness researcher. It is based on the factor analysis of five different mindfulness questionnaires that include Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scales (Brown and Ryan, 2003), Cognitive Affective Mindfulness Scale (Hayes and Feldman 2004), Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (Baer, Smith, and Allen, 2004), and Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (Walach, Buchheld, Buttenmuller, Kleinknetch, and Schmidt, 2006).

. These five mindfulness questionnaires were created separately and then merged to form the five facet mindfulness questionnaire, which helps determine the score of self-awareness and also helps acknowledge how mindfulness affects self-awareness. The analysis of the five factors revealed that these five factors determine mindfulness, hence these were referred to as the elements of mindfulness. These five factors include observation, description, acting with awareness, non-judgemental behavior and non-reactivity. 

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

The five facets of mindfulness are explained below:

1. Observation

Observation involves how much an individual uses his sensory awareness. It tells how much the individual is using his five senses viz sight, hear, smell, taste, and touch, for observing himself and his surroundings. 

2. Description

The description tells how accurately the individual can describe his experiences, thoughts, and feelings to himself and others through words. 

3. Mindful Actions

Mindfulness actions tell how much the individual is aware of himself, his thoughts, his feelings, his actions, and his behaviors. It helps identify whether the individual observes himself and the surroundings before reacting to a certain stimulus or not. 

4. Non-Judgmental Inner Experience

Non-judgmental inner experience refers to not taunting oneself and respecting all feelings, it refers to how much the individual accepts himself and shows empathy towards others.

5. Non-reactivity

Non-reactivity refers to the ability of an individual to refrain from reacting to negative thoughts and emotions. Non-reactivity helps individuals develop emotional resilience, emotional stability and increases overall well-being. 

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

Items of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

The five facet mindfulness questionnaire consists of a total of 39 items. These items are based on the daily experiences, thoughts, and feelings of an individual.  These 39 items help measure the total mindfulness of the individuals keeping in view the five facets of mindfulness viz observation, description, acting with awareness, non-judgment, and non-reactivity. Among these 39 items, 8 items measure observation, 8 items measure description, 8 items measure acting with awareness, 8 items measure non-judging behavior and 7 items measure non-reactivity. 

Uses of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire 

The five facet mindfulness questionnaire is a very effective and largely used questionnaire to measure mindfulness and self-awareness of an individual. This questionnaire can be filled and interpreted by the individual himself as well. The scoring and interpretation key available with the questionnaire makes this questionnaire a self-help questionnaire which the individuals can use by themselves to calculate the estimate of their mindfulness and self-awareness. 

In addition to giving an estimate of an individual’s mindfulness and self-awareness, the five facet mindfulness questionnaire helps an individual identify the effect of mindfulness practice he had been doing lately. In other words, this questionnaire can also be used as a post-intervention assessment tool, for analyzing the effectiveness of mindfulness practice. 

The five aspects of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire help clarify goals, increases self-acceptance, helps accept negative thoughts without reacting to them, cultivates openness, develop self-awareness, aid in dealing with psychological illnesses such as stress and anxiety, helps increase emotional regulation and effective expression of emotions, enhances problem-solving abilities and decision-making skills, and helps nurture positive relationships.

The five facet mindfulness questionnaire is one of the earliest developed questionnaires on mindfulness that helps individuals acknowledge the role of mindfulness in combating daily life issues, hence it holds great significance. 

According to Baer and other professionals who developed shorter versions of this scale, the five facet mindfulness questionnaire is very helpful for clinical and non-clinical populations across cultures. The shorter versions of this questionnaire are preferred more by the researchers with large sample populations, for they can be administered quickly and eliminate the chances of fatigue and boredom in the participants that increase the effectiveness of the test results. However, it is advisable to use the originals versions of this questionnaire for a detailed analysis of the scores. It is also considered as an effective and reliable predictor of well-being.  

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

What Does the FFMQ Measure?

The five facet mindfulness questionnaire helps identify the effectiveness of mindfulness in increasing well-being and decreasing the symptoms of clinical depression, anxiety and stress. This questionnaire also helps measure the effectiveness of mindfulness techniques, for example, MBCT and MBSR. it is a way of identifying whether the intervention is effective in increasing mindfulness, self-awareness and well-being or not. This scale helps individuals determine their mindfulness-based on the five elements of mindfulness. These five facets act as a mediator for therapeutic change and mindful interventions. 

Versions of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

The original five facet mindfulness questionnaire, created by Ruth Baer, consists of 39 items. This scale was transformed into various languages and forms. The shorter versions of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire were used a lot and became popular. The shorter versions of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire used the Rasch analysis for calculating the results and predicting the implications. Shorter versions of this scale consisted of about 18 to 24 items. The shorter versions were introduced after eliminating the items that felt to be inappropriate. 

The subscales of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire include three versions that are:

  • A Dutch version consisting of 24 items (recognized as FFMQ – Short Form).
  • A German version having 20 statements (recognized as FFMQ – Short).
  • A Chinese version constituting 20 statements.

Scoring and Interpretation of the Original Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

The five facet mindfulness questionnaire contains two kinds of statements, positively worded and negatively worded. The positively worded statements are calculated as it is while the negatively worded statements are reverse coded before summing up in the total score. The following table shows which items require reverse coding and which of them can be added with their existing scores.

Facet Scoring Information of Items  
Observation 1, 6, 11, 15, 20, 26, 31, 36
Description 2, 7, 12R, 16R, 22R, 27, 32, 37 
Act with awareness 5R, 8R, 13R, 18R, 23R, 28R, 34R, 38R 
Non-judgmental  3R, 10R, 14R, 17R, 25R, 30R, 35R, 39R 
Non-reactivity 4, 9, 19, 21, 24, 29, 33  

Note that R is written with some items, these items need to be recoded before summing up the total score because these items are negatively worded. On the other hand, if we talk about interpretation, the scores for all five facets can be calculated separately. There are no specific cut scores for interpreting the results. The scores which are near the number 1 are considered to show less mindfulness whereas the scores inclined more towards 5 are considered to show more mindfulness. 

Shorter Version of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire 

The shorter version of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire (FFMQ- SF) consists of a total of 15 items. This questionnaire was criticized a lot for its validity but the people believe that the items included in this version accurately measure mindfulness just as does the original questionnaire. 

Scoring and Interpretation of the shorter Version of FFMQ (FFMQ- SF)

All the five facets of mindfulness are measured by summing up three items for each facet. The items for each facet and their scoring key is mentioned in the table below:

Facet Items Scoring Information 
Observation 1, 6, 11Direct scoring 
Description 2, 7, 12Reverse scoring for 7
Aware actions 3, 8, 13Reverse scoring for all
Non-judgmental experience 4, 9, 14Reverse scoring for all
Non-reactivity 5, 10, 15Direct scoring 

Access to Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire 

The five facet mindfulness questionnaire can be accessed from here. This questionnaire can also be filled online and you can get your scores for this test instantly from this site. You will not need to do the scoring on your own if you fill the questionnaire online. 

This blog aimed to give you details about the five facet mindfulness questionnaire. Mindfulness is a very significant determinant of an individual’s overall well-being, thus it is essential to practice mindfulness regularly. In this blog, we tried our best to deliver you as much information about the five facet mindfulness questionnaire as we could. The five facet mindfulness questionnaire is easily available on the internet. It has been translated into many languages and forms for the convenience of the researchers, therapists, clinicians, and non-clinicians to help them determine the scores of mindfulness. This questionnaire is very significant for therapeutic interventions and can also be used as a post-intervention assessment tool to investigate the effectiveness of the treatments.  This blog mentioned the uses, different versions, scoring and interpretation of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire. We also tried our best to explain all the five facets of mindfulness to you so you could understand the effectiveness, use, and implications of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire. If you have any queries or questions regarding this blog, let us know through your comments. We will be glad to assist you. 

References

The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ) by Madhuleena Roy Chowdhury

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire | Microsoft Word

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire On-Line | Awake Mind

Unsplash.com 

Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire

Nadejda Romanciuc

Nadejda Romanciuc holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a diploma in Addiction studies. She is part of the Romanian Association of Integrative Psychotherapy as a psychotherapist under supervision. She's practicing online counselling for over two years and is a strong advocate for mental health.