Mindfulness and older people: a small study

MARTIN Marion, DOSWELL Sinikka
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(1), January 2012, pp.36-41.

There is a growing body of evidence that mindfulness can improve health and wellbeing. However there is relatively little research examining how older people respond to mindfulness-based therapy and few papers on the subject published by occupational therapists. This small research study was carried out with four older people who attended mindfulness classes run by an occupational therapist for Age UK. Focus groups took place during the classes, and follow-up interviews were carried out a year later. Interpretative qualitative analysis was used to analyse the data. All four participants readily accepted this approach, believing it was especially suited to their age group. Although they all reported positive experiences during the classes, one year on they were either too ill to be interviewed or found that distracting life events had prevented them from continuing to be mindful. As a group older people may find informal mediation during everyday activities easier than formal mediation. The authors conclude that mindfulness-based therapy with older people may have some benefits but more research is needed in this area.

Subject terms:
mindfulness, occupational therapy, older people, quality of life, stress, behaviour therapy;
Content type:
United Kingdom
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