A qualitative study exploring the experiences of mindfulness training in people with acquired brain injury

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2020 May;30(4):731-752. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2018.1515086. Epub 2018 Sep 19.


Recently, there has been increased interest in using mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in brain injury rehabilitation. However, no previous qualitative research has explored the experiences of individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI) receiving these interventions. The present study, therefore, aimed to explore how individuals with ABI make sense of their experiences of learning mindfulness skills. Six focus group interviews were conducted with 14 participants with ABI after they had completed an eight-week mindfulness group. The group interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four themes provided in-depth information about participants' lived experiences of mindfulness training and being in the group; "Developmental learning process", "Group as a supportive environment for learning", "Increased awareness" and "Benefits of mindfulness". The accounts capture participants' journeys through the process of learning mindfulness skills and implementing them in their everyday lives. The findings also suggested that most participants considered mindfulness beneficial in terms of helping them to cope with the emotional and cognitive consequences of ABI.

Keywords: Acquired brain injury; Focus groups; Interpretative phenomenological analysis; Mindfulness; Qualitative research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mindfulness* / methods
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Psychotherapy, Group
  • Qualitative Research