Mindfulness Self-Compassion: Helping Family Caregivers Cope with Cognitive Behaviors of Dementia

Journal of holistic nursing : official journal of the American Holistic Nurses' Association(2023)

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Purpose: To test the feasibility of recruiting dementia family caregivers to participate in the holistic intervention of mindfulness self-compassion (MSC) to decrease perceived distress. There are few studies focused on MSC for dementia caregivers. Design: An interdisciplinary approach (nursing and psychology) and uncontrolled experimental design tested a holistic intervention Mindfulness Self Compassion (MSC) as a coping strategy using the Stress Process framework. Findings: Twenty-four caregivers participated. Dementia caregivers' use of positive reappraisal increased with a mean difference of 2.53 (t = 2.10; SD = 5.23) (p = .049) indicating that family caregivers may have increased their use of positive reappraisal. MSC sessions impacted the caregivers ways of coping with increases in accepting responsibility [model: F(4, 13) 3.18, p-value 0.0499, R-sq = 49.5%, estimate: B = 1.11, t = 2.64, p-value = 0.02)] and impacted caregivers' ways of coping using distancing [model: F(4, 13) 1.47, p-value 0.2682, R-sq = 31.1%, estimate: B = 1.63, t = 2.19, p-value = 0.05)]. Conclusion: Satisfaction with MSC was high among caregivers. At the study's conclusion, caregivers appraised their caregiving non-judgmentally and reduced their negative thoughts of difficult situations. MSC as a holistic practice has the potential to shift caregivers' focus to positive appraisals and promote caregiver wellbeing.
dementia caregivers,mindfulness self-compassion,nursing,holistic practices
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