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A mixed methods investigation of the feasibility of a mindfulness-based intervention for Canadian Aboriginal adults with type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is recognized as a worldwide epidemic that is particularly problematic among indigenous populations. Canada’s Aboriginal population experiences rates of T2DM up to 5.3 times higher than the non-Aboriginal population. Stress plays a role in both the development and maintenance of T2DM and stress is prevalent in the commonly disadvantaged Aboriginal population. I hypothesized that, due to its stress reduction effects, a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) could lead to health improvements for Aboriginal adults with T2DM. I also proposed that an MBI would be appropriate for, and acceptable to, Aboriginal people whose healing traditions incorporate aspects of mind, body, and spirit and conducted a mixed methods investigation to determine the effectiveness, acceptability, and suitability of an MBI in Aboriginal adults with T2DM. I recruited participants from urban and rural centres in Manitoba, Canada who took part in an 8-week, mindfulness intervention. Effect sizes and the results of a repeated measures analyses of variance revealed that participants (N = 11) experienced significant and clinically important reductions in blood sugar and blood pressure as well as improvements in emotional health. A thematic analysis on the qualitative data obtained through semi-structured interviews revealed that the participants overcame several challenges to participate, valued the lessons, practices, and perceived benefits of the program, and found the MBI culturally acceptable. Taken together the results support the feasibility of an MBI for Aboriginal adults with T2DM, making it a promising alternative for improving the health and lives of many Canadians.
Date January 2013
CreatorsDreger, Lisa C.
ContributorsMackenzie, Corey (Psychology), Johnson, Ed (Psychology) Ellery, Michael (Psychology) McCabe, Glen (Educational Administration, Foundations & Psychology) Baer, Ruth (Psychology, University of Kentucky)
Source SetsUniversity of Manitoba Canada
Detected LanguageEnglish

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