Mindfulness-based stress reduction in middle-aged and older adults with memory complaints: a mixed-methods study

Lotte Berk*, Rafke Hotterbeekx, Jim van Os, Martin van Boxtel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objectives: In a rapidly aging world population, an increasingly large group faces age-related decline in cognitive functioning. Cognitive complaints of older adults are often related to worries and concerns associated with age-related functional decline. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can successfully target stress, worry and ruminative thinking, but the applicability of this method in middle-aged and older adults with memory complaints is unclear.Method: Patients of a university hospital memory clinic (n = 13), aged 45-85years, with memory complaints but no diagnosis of cognitive disorder, participated in a standard 8-week MBSR program, consisting of weekly group meetings and a one-day silent retreat. After completion, semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted. Questionnaires (administered before, one week after and five weeks after the intervention) assessed quality of life, psychological distress (stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms), mindfulness, self-compassion, and subjective memory functioning. Neurocognitive functioning was assessed online, before and after the intervention.Results: The qualitative analysis showed positive effects of the training (e.g. increased serenity), many participants worrying less about memory complaints. The self-reported measures were in line with the results of the qualitative analysis.Conclusion: This exploratory mixed-methods study suggests that MBSR is feasible and well received among older individuals with cognitive complaints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1120
JournalAging & Mental Health
Volume22
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • MBSR
  • older adults
  • memory
  • mixed-methods
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • COGNITIVE DECLINE
  • NORMATIVE DATA
  • SHORT-FORM
  • FOLLOW-UP
  • MEDITATION
  • FORGETFULNESS
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

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