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Retrospective Evaluation of Mindfulness Skills Group for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities

Beck, Kelly Battle (2014) Retrospective Evaluation of Mindfulness Skills Group for Adults with Cognitive Disabilities. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Research shows that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, pain, and stress (Baer, 2003; Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed for individuals with these symptoms and strives to help participants embrace all present-moment life experiences, regardless of positive or negative emotions (Kabat-Zinn, 1985). This present-moment awareness is developed with a non-judgmental attitude of acceptance (Kabat-Zinn, 1985). MBSR can be conceptualized as an intervention that utilizes internal self-regulatory strategies to improve attention, awareness, acceptance, life satisfaction, and emotional regulation (Baer, 2003; Kabat-Zinn et al., 1985; Robertson, 2011). Individuals with cognitive disabilities experience poor emotion regulation, attention problems, anxiety, depression, and low quality of life (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Given the benefits of MBSR, researchers developed an adapted MBSR group for a group of individuals with cognitive disabilities. Researchers anticipated the adapted Mindfulness Skills Group (MSG) would be efficacious in reducing symptoms of anxiety while improving life satisfaction, mindfulness awareness, and on-task behaviors. A sample of 24 individuals with varying cognitive disability diagnoses participated in the MSG curriculum as a part of a larger cognitive rehabilitation program. Following the 12-week intervention, pre post assessments of mindfulness awareness, anxiety, satisfaction with life, and on-task behaviors were analyzed. Participants demonstrated a significant increase in life satisfaction (t=3.06, p=.005). However, hypotheses surrounding improving symptoms of anxiety, mindfulness awareness, and total on-task behaviors were not supported. This study suggests that mindfulness-based interventions, specifically MBSR-adapted programs, may be efficacious in significantly improving individuals’ quality of life. Further research is needed to explore relationships between awareness and anxiety and the potential role of mindfulness as a therapeutic intervention for individuals with cognitive disabilities. This research study demonstrates that mindfulness can be implemented in real-world clinical Rehabilitation Counseling practice while significantly improving the lives of individuals with cognitive disabilities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Beck, Kelly Battlekab277@pitt.eduKAB277
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcCue, MichaelMMccue@pitt.eduMMCCUE
Committee MemberSchutte, Jamiejcs85@pitt.eduJCS85
Committee MemberSporner, Michelle Lynnmls7@pitt.eduMLS7
Date: 10 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 February 2014
Approval Date: 10 September 2014
Submission Date: 7 August 2014
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 72
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mindfulness, cognitive disabilities
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2014 19:35
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2019 05:15


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