A resilience intervention involving mindfulness training for transplant patients and their caregivers

Clin Transplant. 2016 Nov;30(11):1466-1472. doi: 10.1111/ctr.12841. Epub 2016 Oct 14.


Solid organ and stem cell transplant patients and their caregivers report a substantial level of distress. Mindfulness-based stress reduction has been shown to alleviate distress associated with transplant, but there is limited experience in this population with other mindfulness-based interventions, or with combined transplant patient and caregiver interventions. We evaluated a novel, 6-week mindfulness-based resilience training (MBRT) class for transplant patients and their caregivers that incorporates mindfulness practice, yoga, and neuroscience of stress and resilience. Thirty-one heart, liver, kidney/pancreas, and stem cell transplant patients and 18 caregivers at Mayo Clinic in Arizona participated. Measures of stress, resilience, depression, anxiety, health-related quality of life, positive and negative affect, and sleep were completed at baseline, 6 weeks, and 3 months postintervention. At 6 weeks and 3 months, patients demonstrated significant (P<.005) improvements from baseline in measures of perceived stress, depression, anxiety, and negative affect. Quality-of-life mental component (P=.006) and positive affect (P=.02) also improved at follow-up. Most participants adhered to the program, were satisfied with class length and frequency, and reported improved well-being as a result of the class. MBRT holds promise as an intervention to enhance resilience and manage stress for transplant patients and their caregivers.

Keywords: caregivers; mindfulness; resilience; stress; transplant recipients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / etiology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Organ Transplantation / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga*