Skip to main content
main-content
Top

Tip

Swipe om te navigeren naar een ander artikel

Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness 12/2020

Open Access 21-08-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER

Sociodemographic Characteristics and Health Status of Mindfulness Users in the United States

Auteurs: Otto Simonsson, Maryanne Martin, Stephen Fisher

Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 12/2020

share
DELEN

Deel dit onderdeel of sectie (kopieer de link)

  • Optie A:
    Klik op de rechtermuisknop op de link en selecteer de optie “linkadres kopiëren”
  • Optie B:
    Deel de link per e-mail
insite
ZOEKEN

Abstract

Objectives

The aims of the present study are to provide population estimates for the prevalence of mindfulness use in the United States and to identify which groups are more likely to self-report mindfulness use.

Methods

Using data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the current study analyzed 26,742 responses from adults in the United States and estimated patterns in the likelihood of self-reported mindfulness use across groups using logistic regression models.

Results

The results suggest that 5% of adults in the United States in 2017 had used mindfulness over the prior year, which is significantly more than the finding that 2% of adults in the United States had used mindfulness during the 12 months prior to the 2012 NHIS interview. The logistic regression models show that self-reported mindfulness use was less likely among married adults and more likely among women, sexual minorities, young and middle-aged adults, white adults, employed adults, adults without minor children in the family, adults from the West of the United States, adults with access barriers to healthcare, adults with cost barriers to healthcare, adults with mental illness, and adults with physical pain. Most notably, mindfulness use was reported by substantial numbers of respondents with access barriers to healthcare (10%), cost barriers to healthcare (9%), mental illness (15%), or physical pain (7%).

Conclusions

The results of the present study suggest an unequal distribution of mindfulness use across groups in the United States.
Opmerkingen

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-020-01486-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
In recent decades, there has been a surge of scientific interest in mindfulness—the quality of awareness that emerges from purposefully and nonjudgmentally paying attention to the present moment with an attitude of openness, acceptance, and curiosity (Kabat-Zinn 2003). The research in the field has generally been limited by poor research methodologies and small sample sizes (Goleman & Davidson 2017), but the evidence to date suggests that mindfulness-based practices and programs can be effective for chronic pain (Hilton et al. 2017), anxiety (de Abreu Costa et al. 2019), and depression (Goldberg et al. 2019).
The proliferation of research on mindfulness-based interventions has coincided with efforts to integrate mindfulness-based practices and programs into a range of institutional settings, including the workplace, the military, the criminal justice system (Creswell 2017), and the government (Bristow 2019). There have not been many studies on the overall prevalence of mindfulness use in society, but Burke et al. (2017) analyzed the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and found that an estimated 2% of adults in the United States had used mindfulness during the 12 months prior to the survey interview. The evidence to date suggests that mindfulness use in the United States varies widely depending on age, region, race, gender, sexual orientation, cost barriers to healthcare, access barriers to healthcare, mental illness, and physical pain (Burke et al. 2017; Macinko & Upchurch, 2019; Morone et al. 2017; Wang et al. 2019).
While several theoretical models have been developed to explain the variance across groups in healthcare utilization (Mechanic 1962; Parsons 1951; Suchman 1965), the Andersen (1995) healthcare utilization model has also been used to predict mindfulness use in the United States (Macinko & Upchurch, 2019). The model involves three main predictors of healthcare utilization: (1) predisposing factors—characteristics that predispose individuals to use health services, which can include age, race, and gender; (2) enabling factors—characteristics that enable individuals to access health services, which can include a general inability to afford health services; and (3) health needs—characteristics that create a need for individuals to utilize health services, which can include mental illness and physical pain. Using the Andersen (1995) healthcare utilization model and publicly available data from the 2017 NHIS dataset, the aims of the present study are to provide population estimates for the prevalence of mindfulness use in the United States and to identify which groups are more likely to self-report mindfulness use.

Methods

Participants

The present study provides a secondary analysis of data from the 2017 NHIS dataset. The NHIS is a nationally representative survey of the US population with information on sociodemographic characteristics and health status. The publicly available data files were weighted to reflect the civilian noninstitutionalized population and contained responses from 26,742 adults aged 18 years or above, which was 80.7% of the total sample of eligible adults (33,143).

Measures

The dependent variable for the present study was self-reported mindfulness use during the 12 months prior to the survey interview. The current study used twelve independent variables that were relevant to the Andersen (1995) healthcare utilization model: age, region, race, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family composition, and employment status were analyzed as predisposing factors; access barriers to healthcare and cost barriers to healthcare were analyzed as enabling factors; and mental illness and physical pain were analyzed as health needs. The exact wording and recoding of all the questions and answers can be found in Appendix 1 in the Supplementary Materials.
“Refused,” “Not Ascertained,” and “Do not Know” (3.2% of the responses for the dependent variable; see Table A1 in Supplementary Materials Appendix 2) were coded as “Use Not Reported” for the dependent variable, which ensures that the weighted sample reflects national estimates. While respondents using techniques similar to mindfulness-based practices are unlikely to self-report mindfulness use, it is assumed that mindfulness users generally know that they are using mindfulness-based practices and would therefore be able to report it. It is also important to note that the overall findings are broadly the same when “Refused,” “Not Ascertained,” and “Do not Know” are coded as missing values for the dependent variable (see Tables A23 in Appendix 3 in the Supplementary Materials). The response in the 2017 NHIS dataset can appear as “Not Ascertained” in several situations, including when the field was left blank or the respondent discontinued the interviews at some point after completing the first three sections (NHIS 2017).

Data Analyses

The present study used descriptive statistics to present an overview of self-reported mindfulness use (Tables 1 and 2). The likelihood of self-reported mindfulness use across groups was calculated with three multiple logistic regressions to calculate adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (Table 3). The adjusted odds ratios with a greater value than 1 suggest that individuals in the group were more likely to have self-reported mindfulness use during the 12 months prior to the survey interview. Conversely, the adjusted odds ratios with a value less than 1 suggest that the individuals in that group were less likely to have self-reported mindfulness use during the 12 months prior to the survey interview. The data analyses make use of sampling weights to produce representative estimates.
Table 1
Percentage of self-reported mindfulness use in the United States
Responses
% [95% CI]
Observations
Population estimates
Use reported
5.3 [4.9, 5.7]
1525
13,072,835
Use not reported
94.7 [94.3, 95.1]
25,217
233,584,436
Total
100
26,742
246,657,271
Estimates calculated using weights for national representativeness provided by the NHIS. “Refused,” “Not Ascertained,” and “Do not Know” are coded as “Use Not Reported” for the dependent variable. See Supplementary Materials Appendix 1 for the exact wording and recoding of the responses
Table 2
Percentage of self-reported mindfulness use in the United States across groups
Variables
Mindfulness use reported
 
%
N
Age
  70+ years
2.1
104
  18–29 years
6.6
348
  30–39 years
6.6
315
  40–49 years
5.3
221
  50–59 years
5.2
291
  60–69 years
4.8
246
Region
  West
7.8
527
  Northeast
5.7
294
  South
3.3
362
  Midwest
5.4
342
Race
  White
6.3
1220
  Black/African American
3.1
78
  AIAN
2.5
8
  Asian
4.5
73
  Hispanic
2.5
100
  Other
9.6
46
Gender
  Men
4.2
566
  Women
6.3
959
Sexual orientation
  Heterosexual
5.0
1325
  Sexual minority
9.5
200
Marital status
  Not married
6.2
987
  Married
4.5
538
Family composition
  No children
5.9
1222
  Children
4.1
303
Employment status
  Not working
3.9
459
  Employed
6.1
1066
Access barriers to healthcare
  Not reported
4.6
1163
  Reported
10.1
362
Cost barriers to healthcare
  Not reported
4.6
1109
  Reported
8.7
416
Mental illness
  Not reported
5.0
1414
  Reported
14.7
111
Physical pain
  Not reported
4.1
702
  Reported
7.0
823
The number of observations was 26,742. Estimates calculated using weights for national representativeness provided by the NHIS. “Refused,” “Not Ascertained,” and “Do not Know” are coded as “Use Not Reported” for the dependent variable. N refers to the unweighted counts of self-reported mindfulness users on each row. AIAN refers to American Indian and Alaska Native. See Supplementary Materials Appendix 1 for the exact wording and recoding of the responses
Table 3
Variables associated with self-reported mindfulness use in the United States
Variables
Model 1
Model 2
Model 3
 
aOR
(95% CI)
aOR
(95% CI)
aOR
(95% CI)
Predisposing factors
  Age
    70+ years (reference)
    18–29 years
3.66***
(2.72, 4.93)
3.29***
(2.45, 4.43)
3.18***
(2.35, 4.29)
    30–39 years
4.51***
(3.27, 6.21)
3.97***
(2.89, 5.44)
3.73***
(2.71, 5.13)
    40–49 years
3.51***
(2.52, 4.90)
3.08***
(2.21, 4.29)
2.82***
(2.02, 3.93)
    50–59 years
2.80***
(2.03, 3.87)
2.39***
(1.74, 3.29)
2.24***
(1.63, 3.09)
    60–69 years
2.42***
(1.80, 3.26)
2.20***
(1.64, 2.96)
2.12***
(1.58, 2.86)
  Region
    West (reference)
    Northeast
0.64***
(0.51, 0.81)
0.68***
(0.54, 0.85)
0.68***
(0.54, 0.86)
    South
0.39***
(0.31, 0.48)
0.40***
(0.32, 0.49)
0.40***
(0.32, 0.50)
    Midwest
0.55***
(0.44, 0.69)
0.55***
(0.44, 0.69)
0.55***
(0.44, 0.69)
  Race
    White (reference)
    Black/African American
0.50***
(0.35, 0.69)
0.50***
(0.35, 0.70)
0.52***
(0.37, 0.73)
    AIAN
0.31*
(0.11, 0.85)
0.29*
(0.10, 0.82)
0.30*
(0.11, 0.84)
    Asian
0.57***
(0.43, 0.76)
0.60***
(0.45, 0.80)
0.64**
(0.48, 0.86)
    Hispanic
0.31***
(0.24, 0.41)
0.30***
(0.23, 0.39)
0.31***
(0.24, 0.41)
    Other
1.16
(0.73, 1.83)
1.08
(0.69, 1.70)
1.08
(0.69, 1.69)
  Gender
    Men (reference)
    Women
1.70***
(1.49, 1.94)
1.59***
(1.39, 1.82)
1.54***
(1.35, 1.76)
  Sexual orientation
    Heterosexual (reference)
    Sexual minority
1.72***
(1.42, 2.09)
1.65***
(1.35, 2.01)
1.59***
(1.30, 1.95)
  Marital status
    Not married (reference)
    Married
0.80**
(0.69, 0.93)
0.85*
(0.74, 0.98)
0.86*
(0.74, 0.99)
  Family composition
    No children (reference)
    Children
0.58***
(0.49, 0.69)
0.61***
(0.51, 0.72)
0.60***
(0.51, 0.72)
  Employment status
Not working (reference)
Employed
1.28**
(1.09, 1.50)
1.38***
(1.18, 1.62)
1.49***
(1.27, 1.75)
Enabling factors
  Access barriers to healthcare
    Not reported (reference)
    Reported
  
1.88***
(1.59, 2.22)
1.74***
(1.46, 2.07)
  Cost barriers to healthcare
    Not reported (reference)
    Reported
…..
…..
1.62***
(1.38, 1.90)
1.47***
(1.24, 1.72)
Health needs
  Mental illness
    Not reported (reference)
    Reported
…..
…..
…..
…..
1.93***
(1.44, 2.59)
  Physical pain
    Not reported (reference)
    Reported
…..
…..
…..
…..
1.42***
(1.24, 1.62)
Observations
26,742
 
26,742
 
26,742
 
Robust standard errors in parentheses; ***p ≤ 0.001, **p ≤ 0.01, *p ≤ 0.05
Estimates calculated using weights for national representativeness provided by the NHIS. aOR, adjusted (or conditional) odds ratio. “Refused,” “Not Ascertained,” and “Do not Know” are coded as “Use Not Reported” for the dependent variable. AIAN refers to American Indian and Alaska Native. See Supplementary Materials Appendix 1 for the exact wording and recoding of the responses

Results

Table 1 displays the percentage of self-reported mindfulness use. The results show that 5% of the respondents reported mindfulness use during the 12 months prior to the survey interview, which suggests that thirteen million adults in the United States had used mindfulness in the analyzed time period, based on the population estimates from NHIS.
Table 2 displays the percentage of self-reported mindfulness use across groups. Most notably, mindfulness use was self-reported by substantial numbers of respondents with access barriers to healthcare (10%), cost barriers to healthcare (9%), mental illness (15%), or physical pain (7%).
Table 3 displays estimates from three logistic regression models based on variables that might reasonably be expected to be casually prior to mindfulness use during the 12 months prior to the survey interview: predisposing factors (model 1); predisposing factors and enabling factors (model 2); and predisposing factors, enabling factors, and health needs (model 3). Taken together, self-reported mindfulness use was less likely among married adults and more likely among women, sexual minorities, young and middle-aged adults, white adults, employed adults, adults without minor children in the family, adults from the West of the United States, adults with access barriers to healthcare, adults with cost barriers to healthcare, adults with mental illness, and adults with physical pain.

Discussion

The present study analyzed the 2017 NHIS dataset to provide population estimates for the prevalence of mindfulness use in the United States and to identify which groups are more likely to self-report mindfulness use. The findings show that 5% of respondents reported mindfulness use during the 12 months prior to the survey interview, which suggests that thirteen million adults in the United States had used mindfulness in the analyzed time period. Taken together, self-reported mindfulness use was less likely among married adults and more likely among women, sexual minorities, young and middle-aged adults, white adults, employed adults, adults without minor children in the family, adults from the West of the United States, adults with access barriers to healthcare, adults with cost barriers to healthcare, adults with mental illness, and adults with physical pain. Most notably, mindfulness use was self-reported by substantial numbers of respondents with access barriers to healthcare (10%), cost barriers to healthcare (9%), mental illness (15%), or physical pain (7%).
The findings in the current study suggest a significantly higher prevalence of mindfulness use among adults in the United States in 2017 than in 2012, which mirrors the overall increase in meditation use between 2012 and 2017 (Clarke et al. 2018). The results broadly confirm earlier analyses of the sociodemographic characteristics and health status of mindfulness users (Burke et al. 2017; Macinko & Upchurch 2019; Morone et al. 2017; Wang et al. 2019), but the present study also finds self-reported mindfulness use to be significantly associated with marital status, family composition, and employment status.

Limitations and Future Research Directions

The present study has several limitations worthy of consideration. First, the sample has been weighted to be representative of the adult population in the United States, which increases the reliability and accuracy of the population estimates. The analysis was, however, conducted with data collected in 2017 and might not reflect current trends and characteristics of mindfulness users. Second, the cross-sectional design of the study prevents causal inference about the mental and physical health status of the respondents. The causal effects of the mindfulness use cannot be established, even if the research thus far broadly suggests a positive effect on mental and physical health from mindfulness-based interventions. Future research should explore barriers to mindfulness use and ways to promote a more equally distributed use of mindfulness-based practices and programs.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The current study was exempt from review by the Research Ethics Committee of the Department of Sociology (DREC) at the University of Oxford.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
share
DELEN

Deel dit onderdeel of sectie (kopieer de link)

  • Optie A:
    Klik op de rechtermuisknop op de link en selecteer de optie “linkadres kopiëren”
  • Optie B:
    Deel de link per e-mail
Bijlagen

Electronic supplementary material

Literatuur
go back to reference Andersen, R. (1995). Revisiting the behavioral model and access to medical care: Does it matter? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(1), 1–10. CrossRef Andersen, R. (1995). Revisiting the behavioral model and access to medical care: Does it matter? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(1), 1–10. CrossRef
go back to reference Bristow, J. (2019). Mindfulness in politics and public policy. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 87–91. CrossRef Bristow, J. (2019). Mindfulness in politics and public policy. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 87–91. CrossRef
go back to reference Burke, A., Lam, C. N., Stuffman, B., & Yang, H. (2017). Prevalence and patterns of use of mantra, mindfulness and spiritual meditation among adults in the United States. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17(1), 316. CrossRef Burke, A., Lam, C. N., Stuffman, B., & Yang, H. (2017). Prevalence and patterns of use of mantra, mindfulness and spiritual meditation among adults in the United States. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17(1), 316. CrossRef
go back to reference Creswell, J. D. (2017). Mindfulness interventions. Annual Review of Psychology, 68, 491–516. CrossRef Creswell, J. D. (2017). Mindfulness interventions. Annual Review of Psychology, 68, 491–516. CrossRef
go back to reference de Abreu Costa, M., de Oliveira, G. S. D. A., Tatton-Ramos, T., Manfro, G. G., & Salum, G. A. (2019). Anxiety and stress-related disorders and mindfulness-based interventions: A systematic review and multilevel meta-analysis and meta-regression of multiple outcomes. Mindfulness, 10(6), 996–1005. CrossRef de Abreu Costa, M., de Oliveira, G. S. D. A., Tatton-Ramos, T., Manfro, G. G., & Salum, G. A. (2019). Anxiety and stress-related disorders and mindfulness-based interventions: A systematic review and multilevel meta-analysis and meta-regression of multiple outcomes. Mindfulness, 10(6), 996–1005. CrossRef
go back to reference Goldberg, S. B., Tucker, R. P., Greene, P. A., Davidson, R. J., Kearney, D. J., & Simpson, T. L. (2019). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the treatment of current depressive symptoms: A meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 48(6), 445–462. CrossRef Goldberg, S. B., Tucker, R. P., Greene, P. A., Davidson, R. J., Kearney, D. J., & Simpson, T. L. (2019). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for the treatment of current depressive symptoms: A meta-analysis. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 48(6), 445–462. CrossRef
go back to reference Goleman, D., & Davidson, R. (2017). The science of meditation: How to change your brain, mind and body. Penguin UK. Goleman, D., & Davidson, R. (2017). The science of meditation: How to change your brain, mind and body. Penguin UK.
go back to reference Hilton, L., Hempel, S., Ewing, B. A., Apaydin, E., Xenakis, L., Newberry, S., Colaiaco, B., Ruelaz Maher, A., Shanman, R. M., Sorbero, M. E., & Maglione, M. A. (2017). Mindfulness meditation for chronic pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51(2), 199–213. CrossRef Hilton, L., Hempel, S., Ewing, B. A., Apaydin, E., Xenakis, L., Newberry, S., Colaiaco, B., Ruelaz Maher, A., Shanman, R. M., Sorbero, M. E., & Maglione, M. A. (2017). Mindfulness meditation for chronic pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 51(2), 199–213. CrossRef
go back to reference Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156. Kabat-Zinn, J. (2003). Mindfulness-based interventions in context: Past, present, and future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 144–156.
go back to reference Mechanic, D. (1962). The concept of illness behaviour. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 15(2), 189–194. CrossRef Mechanic, D. (1962). The concept of illness behaviour. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 15(2), 189–194. CrossRef
go back to reference Morone, N. E., Moore, C. G., & Greco, C. M. (2017). Characteristics of adults who used mindfulness meditation: United States, 2012. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 23(7), 545–550. CrossRef Morone, N. E., Moore, C. G., & Greco, C. M. (2017). Characteristics of adults who used mindfulness meditation: United States, 2012. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 23(7), 545–550. CrossRef
go back to reference Parsons, T. (1951). The social system. The Free Press. Parsons, T. (1951). The social system. The Free Press.
go back to reference Suchman, E. (1965). Stages of illness and medical care. Journal of Health and Human Behavior, 6(3), 114–128. CrossRef Suchman, E. (1965). Stages of illness and medical care. Journal of Health and Human Behavior, 6(3), 114–128. CrossRef
go back to reference Wang, C., Li, K., & Gaylord, S. (2019). Prevalence, patterns, and predictors of meditation use among US children: Results from the National Health Interview Survey. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 43, 271–276. CrossRef Wang, C., Li, K., & Gaylord, S. (2019). Prevalence, patterns, and predictors of meditation use among US children: Results from the National Health Interview Survey. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 43, 271–276. CrossRef
Metagegevens
Titel
Sociodemographic Characteristics and Health Status of Mindfulness Users in the United States
Auteurs
Otto Simonsson
Maryanne Martin
Stephen Fisher
Publicatiedatum
21-08-2020
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Mindfulness / Uitgave 12/2020
Print ISSN: 1868-8527
Elektronisch ISSN: 1868-8535
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-020-01486-4