Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy




College of Science & Mathematics


Jeffrey Greeson, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

David Libon, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Seran Schug, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3

Cori McMahon, Psy.D.


Caregivers, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Mindfulness


Cognition disorders in old age--Treatment


Clinical Psychology


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), thought be a precursor to dementia, is characterized by cognitive decline without functional impairment. As the population ages and the prevalence of MCI increases, non-pharmacologic interventions are needed to address well-being and disease progression in this population of older adults and their caregivers. In response to growing interest in mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) as an adjunct to integrated care for this population, this single arm, mixed methods pilot study trialed a lightly adapted, 6-week MBI for both MCI patients and their caregivers (n=24). The intervention was feasible and acceptable in both groups. There was a trend toward improved Immediate Memory in MCI Patients and a significant improvement in their self-reported Social Functioning, but several other self-report measures lacked reliability and validity in this group. Caregivers reported increased trait mindfulness and application of mindfulness skills in daily life, as well as decreased sleep disturbance. However, Caregiver Burden did not improve. Thematic analysis showed acquisition of basic mindfulness skills in both groups, with a particular emphasis on meditation as a way for MCI patients to relax and generate positive affect. Several recommendations for future research are provided, and additional randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes are required to replicate these findings and isolate mindfulness-specific treatment effects.