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24-01-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 7/2019 Open Access

Mindfulness 7/2019

The Experiences of People with an Intellectual Disability of a Mindfulness-Based Program

Mindfulness > Uitgave 7/2019
Tammy-Lee Currie, Karen McKenzie, Steve Noone
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There has been an increasing interest in the use of mindfulness-based practices by people with an intellectual disability (ID); however, research about the perspectives of people with ID is limited. The aim of the study was to explore the experiences of people with ID of mindfulness practice.


This qualitative study involved semi-structured interviews with 6 participants with ID (4 males and 2 females, aged 18–53, M = 36.17) who had taken part in a mindfulness programme. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse the data.


Two themes were revealed: “The impact of mindfulness” and “The mechanisms of the group”. The results indicated that the participants perceived a number of psychological benefits of attending the programme including improved self-esteem, confidence, self-control, and compassion for oneself and others. A full understanding of what mindfulness is or its purpose was not required in order to lead to therapeutic gains.


The results suggest that mindfulness may represent an effective psychoeducational approach for some people with ID.

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