Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy with older adults: an exploratory study

J Gerontol Soc Work. 2014;57(5):498-520. doi: 10.1080/01634372.2013.869787. Epub 2014 Jun 24.


An 8-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) group for older adults with depression and/or anxiety is described. This article is based on an exploratory study of this therapeutic approach and changes in participants' symptoms associated with participation. Pre-post data from 5 MBCT groups showed significant improvements in reported anxiety, ruminative thoughts, and sleep problems and a reduction in depressive symptoms. Case examples are presented to illustrate these symptom changes. Findings showed that this nonpharmacological intervention is acceptable to older adults and is associated with positive changes. Suggestions are provided for both practitioners and researchers interested in using MBCT with older adults.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; group therapy; mindfulness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety* / diagnosis
  • Anxiety* / psychology
  • Anxiety* / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Depression* / diagnosis
  • Depression* / psychology
  • Depression* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotherapy, Group / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome