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01-04-2015 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 2/2015

Mindfulness 2/2015

Feasibility of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Aboriginal Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Mindfulness > Uitgave 2/2015
Lisa C. Dreger, Corey Mackenzie, Brian McLeod


Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is recognized as a worldwide epidemic and the health concern is particularly problematic among indigenous populations. Canada’s Aboriginal population experiences rates of T2DM that are 2.5–5.3 times higher than the non-Aboriginal population. Stress is understood to play a role in both the development and maintenance of diabetes, which makes stress reduction an avenue for health improvement in these patients. Stress is known to be an integral part of life for commonly disadvantaged Aboriginal people and we hypothesized that, due to its known stress reduction effects, a mindfulness intervention could lead to health improvements for those with T2DM. We also thought that the mind/body approach of a mindfulness intervention would be appropriate for, and acceptable to, Aboriginal people whose healing traditions incorporate aspects of mind, body, and spirit. To test the feasibility of such an approach, we recruited Aboriginal participants from urban and rural centres in Manitoba, Canada who took part in an 8-week, modified mindfulness intervention. Following the program, participants (N = 11) experienced significant and clinically important reductions in blood sugar (HbA1c reduced by .43 %, p = .02; d = .37) and blood pressure (mean arterial pressure reduced by 7.91 mm Hg, p = .05; d = .85). They also reported significant improvements in emotional health. Our small sample limits the generalizability of our findings but our results provide preliminary evidence of feasibility, which supports further exploration of the efficacy and effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions for indigenous people with T2DM.

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