Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with Older Adults: A Qualitative Review of Randomized Controlled Outcome Research.

Author: Hazlett-Stevens H1, Singer J1, Chong A1
Author Information:
1a Department of Psychology , University of Nevada , Reno , USA.
Conference/Journal: Clin Gerontol.
Date published: 2018 Sep 11
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1080/07317115.2018.1518282. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 243

OBJECTIVE: Many older adults cope with various chronic physical health conditions, and in some cases, with mental health and/or cognitive difficulties. Mindfulness-based interventions offer an evidence-based, mind-body complementary treatment approach for a wide range of comorbidities, yet most investigations were conducted with young or middle-aged adults. The purpose of this review was to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of two leading mindfulness-based interventions conducted with older adults.

METHODS: Our search of five databases identified seven RCT investigations of either Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) conducted exclusively with older adults.

RESULTS: Results generally supported the use of MBSR for chronic low back pain, chronic insomnia, improved sleep quality, enhanced positive affect, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improved memory and executive functioning. In a sample of older adults exhibiting elevated anxiety in the absence of elevated depression, MBCT effectively reduced symptoms of anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS: This review highlights the feasibility and possible benefits of MBSR and MBCT for older adults. Additional large scale RCTs conducted with older adults coping with the range of physical, behavioral, and cognitive challenges older adults commonly face still are needed.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: MBSR may be a promising intervention for older adults experiencing a variety of health concerns and possibly even cognitive decline. MBCT may reduce geriatric anxiety, although its effects on geriatric depression were not measured.

KEYWORDS: Mindfulness based stress reduction; cognitive functioning; mindfulness based cognitive therapy; older adults; physical health outcomes

PMID: 30204557 DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2018.1518282