Mindfulness Training Helped Patients & Caregivers Cope with End of Life Care Issues
An interview with Ann H Cottingham MA MAR of the Indiana University School of Medicine about a recent study she co-ran:
Cottingham AH, Beck-Coon K, Bernat JK, Helft PR, Schmidt K, Shields CG, Torke AM, Johns SA.
From the interview:
The study found that MODEL Care [which combined mindfulness meditation, mindful communication practices, and information about advance care planning] successfully supported patients and their family caregivers in thinking about and then talking about the care they would want to receive if they become unable to speak for themselves, enhancing their ability to respond to emotional challenges, and decreasing barriers to end-of-life planning.
MODEL Care improved patient and caregiver ability to cope, lowered emotional reactivity, and enhanced ability to respond to issues that incited emotion. It also strengthened the patient-caregiver relationship and enhanced communication with each other. MODEL Care also improved both patient and family caregiver communication with the physicians caring for the patient. Patients noted that the practices enabled them to cope more effectively with the symptoms of their disease, including pain. Caregivers reported changes in their loved one’s ability to cope with their disease following the mindfulness sessions.
Want to learn how to bring mindfulness to caregivers and/or patients in your local hospital? Consider becoming a certified mindfulness teacher yourself!