An adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction program for elders in a continuing care retirement community: quantitative and qualitative results from a pilot randomized controlled trial

J Appl Gerontol. 2015 Jun;34(4):518-38. doi: 10.1177/0733464814559411. Epub 2014 Dec 9.


The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and effectiveness of an adapted 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for elders in a continuing care community. This mixed-methods study used both quantitative and qualitative measures. A randomized waitlist control design was used for the quantitative aspect of the study. Thirty-nine elderly were randomized to MBSR (n = 20) or a waitlist control group (n = 19), mean age was 82 years. Both groups completed pre-post measures of health-related quality of life, acceptance and psychological flexibility, facets of mindfulness, self-compassion, and psychological distress. A subset of MBSR participants completed qualitative interviews. MBSR participants showed significantly greater improvement in acceptance and psychological flexibility and in role limitations due to physical health. In the qualitative interviews, MBSR participants reported increased awareness, less judgment, and greater self-compassion. Study results demonstrate the feasibility and potential effectiveness of an adapted MBSR program in promoting mind-body health for elders.

Keywords: continuing care communities; elders; mindfulness.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Female
  • Housing for the Elderly*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*