Latinos comprise a sizeable and growing population that experiences unmet health needs and health inequities. Mindfulness-based interventions may be a cost-effective way to address mental health problems in primary care. We sought to adapt a mindfulness-based intervention to better serve and improve the mental health of Latinos in the primary care setting.
The authors employed a unique set of adaptations to increase retention and engagement of Latinos in a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention. These adaptations included (1) group motivational interviewing, (2) problem-solving barriers to retention, (3) a testimonial by a prior Latino MBSR participant, and (4) modifications to increase perceived applicability of MBSR for Latinos. Thirty Latino participants were recruited for an 8-week mindfulness intervention adapted (MBSR-A) specifically for Latino populations.
Twenty-six out of thirty (87%) participants completed at least five of the eight sessions, which was significantly greater than in previous studies targeting Latino participants (60–66%). Of those who completed and provided pre- and post-data, there were decreases in anxiety and depression, and increases in measures of general mental health and physical health.
The adaptations utilized in this pilot study may increase retention and engagement of Latinos in mindfulness-based interventions and may be a cost-effective way to reduce mental health problems in this growing population.