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Meditation program mitigates loneliness and promotes wellbeing, life satisfaction and contentment among retired older adults: a two-year follow-up study in four South Asian cities.

Authors
  • Pandya, Samta P1
  • 1 School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai, India. , (India)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Aging & Mental Health
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
Volume
25
Issue
2
Pages
286–298
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1691143
PMID: 31755300
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

To examine the impact of a meditation program in mitigating loneliness and promoting wellbeing, life satisfaction and contentment among retired South Asian older adults. Intervention group older adults (IN2 =166) underwent weekly classes of the customized meditation program for 2 years as compared to the control group (CN2 =157) who underwent no intervention. Four scales were used to measure the outcomes: De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale (six-items), Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale and Contentment with Life Assessment Scale. There were significant mean differences in the post-test scores on loneliness, wellbeing, life satisfaction and contentment outcomes of the intervention group, with high observed effect sizes (Cohen's d range = 2.43-8.78, p≤.01). The intervention group older adults reported that they were less lonely and experienced greater wellbeing, life satisfaction and contentment post-test (ηp 2 =.71-.78, p≤.01). Within the intervention cohort, post-test scores were higher for men, Hindus, middle class, married, living with spouse/children/kin, with acquired treatable lifestyle ailments, who attended 76-100 meditation lessons and regularly practiced at home. Results of the hierarchical regression models indicated that home practice was the strongest predictor explaining 17% (±.82%) variation in the outcomes. The structural equation models indicated that meditation lessons attended and home practice mediated the relationship between demographic variables and outcomes. The customized meditation program is an effective loneliness-mitigating intervention for retired older adults. Identifying social cognition as a function of loneliness, this intervention addresses negative thoughts and feelings associated with a mental perception of loneliness.

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