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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of Applied Gerontology, Volume 34, Issue 4, June 2015, Pages 518-538.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/0733464814559411.Copyright © Sage


The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and effectiveness of an adapted 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program for elders in a continuing care community. This mixed-methods study used both quantitative and qualitative measures. A randomized waitlist control design was used for the quantitative aspect of the study. Thirty-nine elderly were randomized to MBSR (n = 20) or a waitlist control group (n = 19), mean age was 82 years. Both groups completed pre-post measures of health-related quality of life, acceptance and psychological flexibility, facets of mindfulness, self-compassion, and psychological distress. A subset of MBSR participants completed qualitative interviews. MBSR participants showed significantly greater improvement in acceptance and psychological flexibility and in role limitations due to physical health. In the qualitative interviews, MBSR participants reported increased awareness, less judgment, and greater self-compassion. Study results demonstrate the feasibility and potential effectiveness of an adapted MBSR program in promoting mind-body health for elders.

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