Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Intervention in Chronic Stroke: a Randomized, Controlled Pilot Study

Juliana V. Baldo, Krista Schendel, Sandy J. Lwi, Timothy J. Herron, Denise G. Dempsey, James Muir, Brian C. Curran, Selvi Paulraj, Jas Chok, Michael A. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) involves training in mindful meditation and has been shown to improve functioning across a range of different disorders. However, little research has focused on the use of MBSR in stroke patients, and previous MBSR studies typically have not included an active control condition to account for non-specific factors that could contribute to the observed benefits. Methods: We conducted a pilot study of MBSR in chronic stroke patients, comparing MBSR to an active control condition. Half of participants were randomly assigned to a standard 8-week MBSR class, and the other half of participants were assigned to an 8-week Brain Health class matched for schedule, instructor, and format. Participants were assessed pre- and post-intervention by blinded examiners on a neuropsychological battery that included primary outcome measures of psychological and cognitive functioning. Participants were also given an anonymous questionnaire following the post-intervention testing session to measure class satisfaction. Results: Both the MBSR and Brain Health classes were rated favorably by participants. Recruitment and retention rates were high, and methods for participant randomization and examiner blinding were successful. Class implementation in terms of execution was also successful, as rated by outside experts. Conclusions: This study established the feasibility of conducting MBSR and Brain Health classes in a chronic stroke population. Trial Registration: https://ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT #: 02600637

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Alternative medicine
  • Anxiety
  • Cognition
  • Depression
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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