The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction program on the mental health of family caregivers: a randomized controlled trial

Hou, R.J. et al. (2013) The effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction program on the mental health of family caregivers: a randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 83(1), pp. 45-53. (doi:10.1159/000353278)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000353278

Abstract

Background Caregivers of people with chronic conditions are more likely than non-caregivers to have depression and emotional problems. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in improving their mental well-being.

Methods Caregivers of persons with chronic conditions who scored 7 or above in the Caregiver Strain Index were randomly assigned to the 8-week MBSR group (n = 70) or the self-help control group (n = 71). Validated instruments were used to assess the changes in depressive and anxiety symptoms, quality of life, self-efficacy, self-compassion and mindfulness. Assessments were conducted at baseline, post-intervention and at the 3-month follow-up.

Results Compared to the participants in the control group, participants in the MBSR group had a significantly greater decrease in depressive symptoms at post-intervention and at 3 months post-intervention (p < 0.01). The improvement in state anxiety symptoms was significantly greater among participants in the MBSR group than those of the control group at post-intervention (p = 0.007), although this difference was not statistically significant at 3 months post-intervention (p = 0.084). There was also a statistically significant larger increase in self-efficacy (controlling negative thoughts; p = 0.041) and mindfulness (p = 0.001) among participants in the MBSR group at the 3-month follow-up compared to the participants in the control group. No statistically significant group effects (MBSR vs. control) were found in perceived stress, quality of life or self-compassion.

Conclusions MBSR appears to be a feasible and acceptable intervention to improve mental health among family caregivers with significant care burden, although further studies that include an active control group are needed to make the findings more conclusive.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mercer, Professor Stewart
Authors: Hou, R.J., Wong, S.Y.-S., Yip, B.H.-K., Hung, A.T.F., Lo, H.H.-M., Chan, P.H.S., Lo, C.S.L., Kwok, T.C.-Y., Tang, W.K., Mak, W.W.S., Mercer, S.W., and Ma, S.H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:0033-3190
ISSN (Online):1423-0348
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Karger
First Published:First published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 83(1):45-53
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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