University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications

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Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Psychiatry

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Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Community-Based Research | Health Psychology | Health Services Administration | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Rehabilitation and Therapy


PURPOSE: This study uses participatory research methods with survivors of homicide and their service providers to explore the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally adapted mindfulness intervention for stress reduction and resilience in homicide survivors.

PROCEDURES: Our mixed methods approach included: (a) previewing a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program with providers and survivors; (b) using their iterative feedback during focus groups to revise the curriculum; and (c) studying the acceptability of the adapted curriculum for survivors through focus group and standardized data collection.

FINDINGS: We learned that providers use mindfulness for self-care and both providers and survivors view the approach for survivors as promising. Based on attendance, participation, and focus group data, the adapted curriculum was both feasible and acceptable. Survivors' reports suggested most experienced improved emotion regulation, feelings of empowerment, and better coping.

CONCLUSIONS: Culturally adapted mindfulness programs may support healing for homicide survivors and possibly other low-income people of color with significant trauma backgrounds. Further investigation is needed to rigorously assess outcomes and specific effects, both positive and negative, of mindfulness in this and other more diversified populations.


UMCCTS funding, mindfulness, homicide survivors, providers, community based participatory research, cultural adaptation, emotion regulation

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Copyright 2018 Elsevier Inc. This is a PDF file of an accepted manuscript that has been accepted for publication and posted with a 12-month embargo as allowed by the publisher's author rights policy at

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Explore (NY). 2018 Jan - Feb;14(1):66-75. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2017.04.021. Epub 2017 Nov 2. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Hartwell-Appendix-A.pdf (116 kB)
MBSR and Adapted Curriculum for Homicide Survivors