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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients

Director/PI: Jan Moynihan 

This study seeks to identify the role of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) training in enhancing adaptive immune responses and influenza infection in older dementia caregivers.

Collaborators: Dr. Jan Moynihan, a psychoneuroimmunologist in the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Kathi Heffner, health psychologist in the School of Nursing, and Silvia Sörensen, a gerontologist at the Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Funding: National Institute on Aging and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

This project is led by Dr. Jan Moynihan, a psychoneuroimmunologist in the Department of Psychiatry.  It addresses the developmental issues faced by older adults who care for a loved one with dementia.  Older dementia caregivers are offered either an 8-week-long course designed to teach subjects how to develop their inner resources in the service of taking better care of themselves, or an 8-week long “Living Well” class. MBSR training includes the learning and refining of a range of skills aimed at increasing relaxation and awareness of physical experiences and sensations related to physical symptoms, emotions, and thoughts. As co-investigator, Sörensen contributes her expertise in caregiver interventions and her experience with community outreach to this project.

Tags: Silvia Sörensen