, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 737–748 | Cite as

Exploring the Benefits of Mindfulness Training in Healthy Community-Dwelling Older Adults: a Randomized Controlled Study Using a Mixed Methods Approach

  • Alexandra J. FioccoEmail author
  • Sasha Mallya
  • Mitra Farzaneh
  • Diana Koszycki


The current randomized controlled study employed a mixed methods approach to better elucidate the benefits of mindfulness meditation for stress management among healthy older adults. Ninety-six older adults were randomly assigned to either a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI, n = 57) or a reading and relaxation program (RRP, n = 39). Participants completed the stress profile pre- and post-intervention and a series of open-ended questions post-intervention for qualitative analysis. Results suggest that both groups displayed improvements from baseline for perceived hassles, global health habits, and psychological wellbeing. Between-groups differences at post-intervention were only found for threat minimization, with the MBI group displaying a relative increase in this coping strategy relative to the RRP group. Results were not moderated by baseline perceived stress. Qualitative benefits and challenges of each program were identified. Current findings contribute to the scarce literature examining mindfulness in older adults and suggest that employing a mixed -methods approach can help to more accurately evaluate the benefits of mindfulness training in this population.


Mindfulness Intervention Older adults Stress Wellbeing 


Author Contributions

AJF: designed and executed the study, ran data analyses, and wrote the paper. SM: collaborated with executing the study and writing of the study. MF: collaborated with executing the study. DK: collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.


This study was partially funded by the Ryerson University Health Research Fund (Fiocco-2012).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the Ryerson University Research Ethics Board (#2012-192-1). Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

12671_2018_1041_MOESM1_ESM.docx (20 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 19 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and the Institute for Stress and Wellbeing ResearchRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Institut du Savoir MontfortOttawaCanada

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