Benefits of mindfulness training for patients with progressive cognitive decline and their caregivers

Ken Paller*, Jessica D. Creery, Susan M. Florczak, Sandra Weintraub, Marek-Marsel Mesulam, Paul J Reber, Jessica Kiragu, Joshua Rooks, Adam Safron, Darby J Morhardt, Mary O'Hara, Kathryn L. Gigler, John M. Molony, Michael Maslar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


New strategies are needed to help people cope with the repercussions of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Patients and caregivers face different challenges, but here we investigated an intervention tailored for this combined population. The program focused on training skills such as attending to the present moment nonjudgmentally, which may help reduce maladaptive emotional responses. Patients participated together with caregivers in weekly group sessions over 8 weeks. An assessment battery was individually administered before and after the program. Pre-post analyses revealed several benefits, including increased quality-of-life ratings, fewer depressive symptoms, and better subjective sleep quality. In addition, participants indicated that they were grateful for the opportunity to learn to apply mindfulness skills and that they would recommend the program to others. In conclusion, mindfulness training can be beneficial for patients and their caregivers, it can be delivered at low cost to combined groups, and it is worthy of further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 6 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • caregiver stress
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
  • neurodegenerative disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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