Introduction to the Mindful Self-Care Scale (Three versions)
Self-care is defined as the daily process of being aware of and attending to one’s basic physiological and emotional needs including the shaping of ones daily routine, relationships, and environment as needed to promote self-care.
Self-care is seen as the foundational work required for physical and emotional well-being. Self-care is associated with positive physical health, emotional well-being, and mental health. Steady and intentional practice of self-care is seen as protective by preventing the onset of mental health symptoms, job/school burnout, and improving work and school productivity.
This scale is intended to help individuals identify areas of strength and weakness in self-care behavior as well as assess interventions that serve to improve self-care. The scale addresses 10 domains of self-care: nutrition/hydration, exercise, soothing strategies, self-awareness/mindfulness, rest, relationships, physical and medical practices, environmental factors, self-compassion, and spiritual practices. There are also three general items assessing the individual’s general or more global practices of self-care.
The Mindful Self-Care Scale was developed over the past decade based on the Attunement Model first published in 2006 (Cook-Cottone, 2006). It has been studied among community samples, medical residents, hospice workers, and nurses.
There are three versions of the scale: MSCS- Clinical (84 items), MSCS- Standard (33 items), and the MSCS- Brief (24 items). Each serves a different function. The MSCS- Clinical is intended for use in clinical settings or in your won careful evaluation and practice so self-care. The MSCS- Standard is the psychometrically sound version of the scale reduced down to 33 items through a series of analyses. See Cook-Cottone & Guyker (2017) for the background on this scale. Last the MSCS-Brief can be used in larger research studies where there is a sensitivity to the length of the survey and the 33 items version is considered too long.
Open Access Free Use
Each of these scales is offered below in pdf. If you would like to use them in clinical practice or in teaching you are free to use them in this way. If you would like to use them in research or modify them in some way, pleas email Catherine Cook-Cottone, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for permission. Please keep Dr. Cook-Cottone updated on all publications and findings so she and her team can continue to develop the scale.
Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS)- Clinical:
The MSCS- Clinical is an 84-item survey that helps you, your students, and your patients develop a self-care plan through assessment of actionable self-care behaviors. This scale is intended to help individuals identify areas of strength and weakness in mindful self-care behavior as well as assess interventions that serve to improve self-care. The scale addresses 10 domains of self-care: nutrition/hydration, exercise, soothing strategies, self-awareness/mindfulness, rest, relationships, physical and medical practices, environmental factors, self-compassion, and spiritual practices. There are also three general items assessing the individual’s general or more global practices of self-care.
Access the MCSC- Clinical Scale here: MSCS – Clinical 2018 Update
Cite the LONG form as: Cook-Cottone, C. P. (2015). Mindfulness and yoga for embodied self-regulation: A primer for mental health professionals. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS)- Standard:
The Mindful Self-Care Scale- SHORT (MSCS, 2017) is a 33-item scale that measures the self-reported frequency of behaviors that measure self-care behavior. These scales are the result of an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) of two large community samples. The subscales are positively correlated with body esteem and negative correlated with substance use and eating disordered behavior.
Access the Scale here: MSCS Standard 2018 Update
Cite the standard form as: Cook-Cottone, C. P., & Guyker, W. M. (2017). The Development and Validation of the Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS): an Assessment of Practices that Support Positive Embodiment. Mindfulness, 1-15. Click here for access to the study Mindful Self-Care Scale Cook-Cottone & Guyker 2018
Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS)- Brief:
The MSCS-Brief was recently developed through analyses with hospice workers and inversely associated with burnout and positive associated with well-being (publication forthcoming). This scale may be helpful when the length of the scale is of upmost importance.
Access the MSCS- Brief here: MSCS – Brief 2018 Update
Publications On the Scale and Associated Theory
Publications on the Scale or Using the Scale
Mindful Self Care Scale Development- Cook-Cottone & Guyker MSCS 2017
Mindful Self-Care and Hospice Workers- MSCS 2018 Mindful Self-Care and Secondary Traumatic Stress Mediate a Relationship Between Compassion Satisfaction and Burnout Risk Among Hospice Care Professionals 2018
Mindful Self-Care and Medical Residents- MSCS 2017 gonzalez-primer201715
Mindful Self-Care among Caretakers for those with Dementia- MSCS Kovaleva_et_al-2018-Research_in_Nursing__Health
Attunement and Embodiment Theory Papers
Attunement Model- Attuned Represent Article Cook Cottone 2006
Self-Care, Attunement Model, and Positive Embodiment- Cook-Cottone Positve Body Image Self-Care 2015
Attuned Model of Self-Care and Positive Embodiment- ARMS Cook-Cottone (2016) edcatalogue.com-The Attuned Representation of Self ARMS 10 Practices for Incorporating Positive Body Image into the T
Embodied Self-Regulation- Cook-Cottone 2015 Embodied SR and ED Last Word
Cook-Cottone, C. P. (2006). The attuned representation model for the primary prevention of eating disorders: An overview for school psychologists. Psychology in the Schools, 43, 223-230. doi.10.1002/pits.20139
Cook-Cottone, C. P. (2015). Mindfulness and yoga for embodied self-regulation: A primer for mental health professionals. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Cook-Cottone, C. P., & Guyker, W. (2017). The development and validation of the Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS): An assessment of practices that support positive embodiment. Mindfulness. (online first- doi:10.1007/s12671-017-0759-1)