, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 401–411 | Cite as

Adherence to Practice of Mindfulness in Novice Meditators: Practices Chosen, Amount of Time Practiced, and Long-Term Effects Following a Mindfulness-Based Intervention

  • Letícia RibeiroEmail author
  • Rachel M. Atchley
  • Barry S. Oken


In this study, we objectively tracked the duration, frequency, and the preferred practices chosen by novice mindfulness practitioners following a mindfulness meditation (MM) intervention. A sample of 55 mildly stressed participants, aged 50 to 80 years old, underwent an individual 6-week MM intervention and had their guided meditation home practice electronically recorded during the intervention and the 8-week post-intervention period. Participants’ psychological well-being was assessed through self-report measures of mindfulness, quality of life, and symptoms of depression and stress. Results evidenced a high adherence to practice, with an average of ~23 minutes per day during the intervention and ~16 minutes per day in the follow-up period. Body scan, sitting meditation, and breathing space were the most popular meditation practices among participants. Our results showed significant alterations in self-reported measures over time, suggesting improvements in stress and overall quality of life. Changes in the self-report measures did not correlate with MM practice time, which suggests that other psychological phenomena, including quality of meditation practice, influence these outcomes.


Mindfulness Adherence Placebo effect Formal mindfulness Informal mindfulness 



Thanks to Elena Goodrich for suggesting the theme of this analysis, to Meghan Miller, Daniel Klee, and Tabatha Memmott for conducting the data collection visits and managing questionnaire data; to Helané Wahbeh and James Lane for developing and overseeing the MM intervention; to Wyatt Webb for development of the iMINDr application; to Roger Ellingson for database development; and most of all, to the participants who dedicated their time and energy to participating in the study, bringing open minds and enthusiasm, which continuously inspired the study team.

Author Contributions

LR: analyzed and interpreted the data and wrote the paper. RA: collaborated with the design, performed the data analyses and contributed with the paper’s editing. BO: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and supervised the writing of the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This study was supported in part by Oregon Health & Science University and by grants from the National Institutes of Health (K24AT005121, T32AT002688). The first author is granted by the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/SWB, 210325/2014-3).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.College of Health Professions, School of Graduate PsychologyPacific UniversityHillsboroUSA
  3. 3.Behavioral NeuroscienceOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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