Meditation-based interventions for family caregivers of people with dementia: a review of the empirical literature

Robyn V.c. Hurley, Tom G. Patterson, Sam J. Cooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Providing care for a family member with dementia is associated with increased risk of adverse mental health sequelae. Recently, interventions utilising meditation-based techniques have been developed with the aim of reducing psychological distress among dementia caregivers. The present review aimed to critically evaluate the extant empirical literature in order to determine: (1) whether meditation-based interventions can reduce depression among dementia caregivers and (2) whether meditation-based interventions can reduce subjective burden among dementia caregivers.

Method: After adhering to inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of eight studies were included in the present review. Methodological quality was assessed using one of two scales dependent on study design.

Results: The results provide tentative evidence that meditation-based interventions do indeed improve levels of depression and burden in family dementia caregivers.

Conclusions: The review highlighted the strengths and weakness of the studies’ methodological designs. Whilst this novel review offers evidence in support of meditation-based interventions to improve the psychological distress of family dementia caregivers, future research should direct efforts to conduct larger scale, more rigorous studies. Clinical implications of the findings are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-288
JournalAging & Mental Health
Issue number3
Early online date6 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2014


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