Mindfulness for people with long-term conditions and their family caregivers: A systematic review

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E-pub ahead of print

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Original languageEnglish
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Early online date1 Nov 2018
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Nov 2018

Abstract

Background and purpose: People with long-term conditions and their family caregivers can experience psychological difficulties. Mindfulness improves psychological wellbeing, but people with long-term conditions and their family caregivers rarely learn mindfulness together. This review systematically reviewed the therapeutic effects for people with long-term conditions and their family caregivers learning MBIs together in a partnership. The review asked what changes in psychological wellbeing or interpersonal factors do people with long-term conditions and their family caregivers experience when learning MBI together?

Methods: CINAHL, Medline, Nursing and Allied Health Database, PsycARTICLES, Psychology Database, PsycINFO were searched (1980-2017). Data were extracted and quality appraisal completed.

Results: The search identified 4008 studies, which reduced to 9 after screening. The review included varied designs: qualitative (n=2), quantitative (n=6), and mixed methods (n=1). Different conditions and various forms of partnerships were included. Mindfulness can alleviate psychological symptoms. Learning mindfulness in a partnership might improve dyadic coping and/or engagement with mindfulness. Results were sometimes contradictory and questions remain about the value of delivering mindfulness in a partnership.

Conclusions: Learning mindfulness in a partnership can improve psychological wellbeing, but improvements are often small and not experienced by everyone. Learning in a partnership can improve engagement with mindfulness and improve dyadic coping, but these findings are inconclusive and need further exploration.

Keywords

  • mindfulness, long-term conditions, psychological wellbeing, caregivers, partnership, systematic review