To review the evidence base for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the treatment of anxiety and depression in older people.
A systematic review was conducted, based on Joanna Briggs Institute methodology. Any study design focusing on qualitative or quantitative data was considered for review. Inclusion criteria were mindfulness-based cognitive therapy; symptoms of anxiety and/or depression; older age; and qualitative and/or quantitative methods. Studies not in English were excluded from the review.
Ten studies evaluating the use of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to treat older participants with anxiety and/or depression were identified as potentially eligible for inclusion. Of these, nine met the eligibility criteria and were of sufficient methodological quality to be included in the review. These nine studies included five mixed method studies, one non-controlled quasi-experimental study, one wait-list controlled quasi-experimental study, a collection of five single case reports and a randomized controlled trial.
To date there is insufficient evidence for the use of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to treat anxiety and depression in older adults. Existing preliminary studies report positive results but have multiple methodological weaknesses that limit their utility in informing clinical practice. Further rigorous research is warranted, to establish an evidence base for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in older people with anxiety and/or depression.