Mindfulness Pilot Project

Mindfulness and Erectile Dysfunction:
African and Caribbean Men needed for new study

man putting his shoulder around boy while his other hand is inside his pocket

What is this?

I’m working on a ground-breaking pilot project using Mindfulness to treat erectile problems in Black, African, and Caribbean people in the UK. We’re looking for participants who experience erectile dysfunction to take part in this study.

Below are the official study details and recruitment information. This is entirely free and participants will receive hundreds of pounds worth of Mindfulness materials, including videos, ongoing group support, and other online resources.

For more information, please contact Dr Sam Banbury, the head researcher and project lead, who is based at Metropolitan University, London, UK (details below). 

Please share this email as widely as you feel comfortable and tell me if you know of somewhere, real or virtual, where we could advertise to recruit more participants. 

Thanks so much in advance; we really appreciate your support!

What is Mindfulness?

Put simply, it means paying attention in the present moment. It’s noticing with care.

Just the same way it’s good to move our bodies and exercise, so mindfulness takes care of our mind and keeps it healthy. It helps us better manage life’s ups and downs.

How does this help with an erection problem?

Mindfulness can help us to feel more present and to connect more with our mind and our body. This means we can be more aware of what is happening in the body at any given moment. 

By practicing mindfulness regularly, we gain sufficient self-awareness to be able to maintain that awareness even when we’re with another person. It can be especially helpful when we feel our body is doing something we don’t want it to, such as not relaxing, not getting aroused, or not staying hard.

Mindfulness also helps us by bringing ‘negative’ thoughts during sex to our awareness but with more acceptance. If we can change our way of thinking and feeling during sex, through mindfulness, we can potentially solve many sex-related problems.

Who is running this pilot project?

It is being lead by Dr Sam Bambury. In her own words:

“I am a senior researcher/reader in psychology at London Metropolitan University conducting a preliminary RCT (randomised controlled trial) of an online Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Intervention for erectile dysfunction, specifically for men of African and Caribbean heritages.”

Why is this needed?

Mindfulness has been shown to assist with an array of physical and psychological problems, yet very limited research has focused on the benefits of mindfulness for African Caribbean men in helping them with sexual difficulties. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE.

Sexual difficulties are commonplace and are not always easy to talk about. But please don’t be shy. We are a small yet highly specialised team who have spent many years supporting individuals with all sorts of difficulties. Taking part in this study may help you and you will be part of changing healthcare towards being more culturally understanding/attuned.

This is an important study and we really need your support.

How does the pilot work?

The study hopes to recruit 40 African Caribbean men with erectile dysfunction aged 18 years and above. 20 men will be randomly allocated to the experimental group and 20 to a waitlist control group. The latter simply means that you will not receive any mindfulness until week 4 after you have consented to take part. You will have to be registered with a GP to be part of this research. Once everything has been arranged and you are happy to proceed, you will gain access to the online materials such as diaries, logs, questionnaires, educational information and so forth. You will be guided and supported throughout. Once every week, there will be online mindfulness exercises with a qualified counsellor. This will last approximately 1-2 hours.

Is this ethical and confidential?

Absolutely. For anyone who participates, you will be ensured complete confidentiality with respect to your responses in this study. Your information will ONLY be shared with the professional team involved (principal investigator, mindfulness practitioner and two research assistants)- that’s it.

This study has been approved by the London Metropolitan University Ethics committee, as is in accordance with the guidelines for research of the British Psychological Society.

How to sign up

Please share this article with anyone who might find it helpful. 

If you have erectile dysfunction and you are interested please contact the principal researcher Dr Samantha (Sam) Banbury for further information: s.banbury1@londonmet.ac.uk.