The effect of baseline patient and caregiver mindfulness on dementia outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Mindfulness is the practice of awareness and living in the present moment without judgment. Mindfulness-based interventions may improve dementia-related outcomes. Before initiating interventions, it would be beneficial to measure baseline mindfulness to understand targets for therapy and its influence on dementia outcomes. Objective: This cross-sectional study examined patient and caregiver mindfulness with patient and caregiver rating scales and patient cognitive performance and determined whether dyadic pairing of mindfulness influences patient outcomes. Methods: Individuals (N = 291) underwent comprehensive evaluations, with baseline mindfulness assessed using the 15-item Applied Mindfulness Process Scale (AMPS). Correlation, regression, and mediation models tested relationships between patient and caregiver mindfulness and outcomes. Results: Patients had a mean AMPS score of 38.0 ± 11.9 and caregivers had a mean AMPS score of 38.9 ± 11.5. Patient mindfulness correlated with activities of daily living, behavior and mood, health-related quality of life, subjective cognitive complaints, and performance on episodic memory and attention tasks. Caregiver mindfulness correlated with preparedness, care confidence, depression, and better patient cognitive performance. Patients in dyads with higher mindfulness had better cognitive performance, less subjective complaints, and higher health-related quality of life (all p-values<0.001). Mindfulness effects on cognition were mediated by physical activity, social engagement, frailty, and vascular risk factors. Conclusion: Higher baseline mindfulness was associated with better patient and caregiver outcomes, particularly when both patients and caregivers had high baseline mindfulness. Understanding the baseline influence of mindfulness on the completion of rating scales and neuropsychological test performance can help develop targeted interventions to improve well-being in patients and their caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1345-1367
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Dementia
  • Inflammation
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Mindfulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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