The feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of an mHealth mindfulness therapy for caregivers of adults with cognitive impairment

Aging Ment Health. 2021 Aug 25;1-8. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2021.1963949. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objectives: To examine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of Mindfulness Coach, an mHealth Mindfulness Therapy intervention.Methods: We recruited 58 informal caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment for this pilot feasibility trial. Participants completed measures of caregiver burden, stress, anxiety, and depression at baseline, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks as well as acceptability and usability data at 8-weeks. The mobile app collected in-app use data including minutes spent using the app and number of unique visits to the app.Results: Users found the app acceptable to use and were satisfied with its design and usability. Over the course of the study period, depression, anxiety, caregiver burden and perceived stress improved. These outcome variables also improved more as caregivers spent more time using the Mindfulness Therapy mHealth intervention.Conclusions: Our results suggest that mHealth mindfulness therapy with caregivers of older adults with cognitive impairment is both feasible and acceptable to users, and that it successfully reduces psychological symptoms. Future work should focus on determining the appropriate doses of the mHealth therapy for particular outcomes and strategies to integrate it into routine care. Mindfulness Therapy delivered in an mHealth format may increase access to psychological treatment for caregivers.

Keywords: Caregiving; dementia caregiving; mHealth interventions; mindfulness therapy.