Pilot evaluation of a mindfulness-based intervention to improve quality of life among individuals who sustained traumatic brain injuries.

Objective: To examine the potential efficacy of a mindfulness-based stress reduction approach to improve quality of life in individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Design: Pre-post design with drop-outs as controls.

Methods: We recruited individuals with mild to moderate brain injuries, at least 1 year post-injury. We measured their quality of life, psychological status, and function. Results of 10 participants who completed the programme were compared to three drop-outs with complete data.

Interventions: The intervention was delivered in 12-weekly group sessions. The intervention relied on insight meditation, breathing exercises, guided visualization, and group discussion. We aimed to encourage a new way of thinking about disability and life to bring a sense of acceptance, allowing participants to move beyond limiting beliefs.

Results: The treatment group mean quality of life (SF-36) improved by 15.40 (SD = 9.08) compared to – 1.67 (SD = 16.65; p = 0.036) for controls. Improvements on the cognitive-affective domain of the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) were reported (p = 0.029), while changes in the overall BDI-II (p = 0.059) and the Positive Symptom Distress Inventory of the SCL-90R (p = 0.054) approached statistical significance.

Conclusion: The intervention was simple, and improved quality of life after other treatment avenues for these participants were exhausted.