Skip to main content Skip to search
'I had a sort of epiphany!' An exploratory study of group mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for older people with depression
Aging & Mental Health
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2018
Pages: 208 - 217
Source ID: shanti-sources-109821
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has been successful in reducing depressive symptoms in people with chronic-recurrent depression. However, the research evaluating the efficacy of this approach, and other innovative treatments for mood disorders, has mainly been with people under 65 years. This paper aims to help redress this imbalance by exploring older people's own reflections of their experience of MBCT.METHODS: A qualitative approach was used to explore 13 participants' experiences of MBCT; participants were interviewed pre and post-intervention and again after six months. To see whether the standard course requires any adaptations for older participants, the two MBCT course facilitators were interviewed post-intervention. RESULTS: Thematic analysis identified five overarching themes and showed that older people reported positive changes in their mental health and well-being and reported being 'released from the past'. The facilitators reported that they needed to be aware of later life issues, such as loneliness and potential physical limitations, but otherwise only minor adaptations were needed to the standard MBCT course for older people. CONCLUSION: MBCT is an acceptable approach for people aged 65 years and over and further research should explore potential mechanisms of change including changes in meta-cognitive awareness and self-compassion.