Positively Mindful: A mixed method feasibility study of mindfulness meditation for people living with HIV in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Karen Lorimer
  • Maggie Lawrence
  • Jacqui Stringer
  • Roger Wong
  • Andrew Winter
  • Paul Flowers


Introduction: Mindfulness meditation (MM) may be an effective self-management strategy for people living with
HIV (PLWH); no such research has yet been conducted in the UK. The aim was to assess the feasibility and
acceptability of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a course in MM, for PLWH in the UK.
Methods: Positively Mindful was the first UK study to explore MM in a sample of PLWH. This was a mixed
method feasibility study of MBSR for PLWH. Participants were randomised to either MBSR (n = 16) or a waiting-
list control (n = 6). Feasibility was assessed using questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and by analysing
study management data. Outcomes included perceived stress, blood pressure, pulse, salivary cortisol, quality of
life, symptomatology, affect, and medication adherence. Data was analysed statistically and thematically.
Results: Of 41 PLWH assessed for eligibility, 22 were recruited Referrals were low but the consent rate was high
(76%). Both patients and staff identified an unmet need for psychosocial care options for PLWH; MM may
address this need. Data demonstrated that methodological optimisations should be made in any future follow-up
study, particularly with respect to recruitment and adherence. Effect sizes for perceived stress (d=0.29), social
wellbeing (d=0.3), and cognitive functioning (d=0.3) suggested further attention may be warranted.
Conclusions: MBSR could be feasible, acceptable, and potentially effective for PLWH in the UK; however, stra-
tegies for optimising recruitment and adherence should be employed in future research.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number101088
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Early online date30 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

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