Improves levels of depression in family dementia caregivers

Hurley, R. V., Patterson, T. G., & Cooley, S. J. (2013). Meditation-based interventions for family caregivers of people with dementia: a review of the empirical literature. Aging & mental health, (ahead-of-print), 1-8.

From the Abstract: 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.

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.

The results provide tentative evidence that meditation-based interventions do indeed improve levels of depression and burden in family dementia caregivers. The review highlighted the strengths and weakness of the studies’ methodological designs … future research should direct efforts to conduct larger scale, more rigorous studies.