Mindfulness Meditation Effects on Poststroke Spasticity: A Feasibility Study

J Evid Based Integr Med. Jan-Dec 2019;24:2515690X19855941. doi: 10.1177/2515690X19855941.


This study examined the feasibility of an adapted 2-week mindfulness meditation protocol for chronic stroke survivors. In addition, preliminary effects of this adapted intervention on spasticity and quality of life in individuals after stroke were explored. Ten chronic stroke survivors with spasticity listened to 2 weeks of short mindfulness meditation recordings, adapted from Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, in a pre/post repeated measures design. Measures of spasticity, quality of life, mindfulness, and anxiety, along with qualitative data from participants' daily journals, were assessed. On average, participants reported meditating 12.5 days of the full 15 days (mean 12.5 days, SD 0.94, range 8-15 days). Seven of the 10 participants wrote comments in their journals. In addition, there were no adverse effects due to the intervention. Exploratory preliminary analyses also showed statistically significant improvements in spasticity in both the elbow (P = .032) and wrist (P = .023) after 2 weeks of meditation, along with improvements in quality of life measures for Energy (P = .013), Personality (P = .026), and Work/Productivity (P = .032). This feasibility study suggests that individuals with spasticity following stroke are able to adhere to a 2-week home-based mindfulness meditation program. In addition, preliminary results also suggest that this adapted, short mindfulness meditation program might be a promising approach for individuals with spasticity following stroke. Future research should expand on these preliminary findings with a larger sample size and control group.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03534856.

Keywords: mindfulness; rehabilitation; spasticity; stroke.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology
  • Muscle Spasticity / psychology
  • Muscle Spasticity / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Stroke / complications*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03534856