A multivariate regression analysis was performed on the difference in scores between baseline and post-intervention blood pressure scores, controlling for age, education, smoking status, and anti-hypertensive medication use. Effect sizes were calculated to quantify the relationship between participation in the mindfulness-based intervention and the blood pressure scores.
Attendance remained 98% in all 8 weeks in both the experimental group and the controls.
The average systolic blood pressure decreased for both groups post-intervention. Individuals in the intervention group exhibited a 21.92-mmHg lower systolic blood pressure compared to the social support control group at the end of the intervention period, statistically significant at p=0.020.
The average diastolic blood pressure decreased in the intervention group (16.70-mmHg lower) at the end of the 8 weeks, while it increased in the social support group, statistically significant at p=0.003.
The researchers conclude that older adult women are at a time in life when a reflective, stationary intervention like MBSR, delivered in residence, could be an appealing mechanism to improve blood pressure. These preliminary results warrant larger trials in this hypertensive study population.