Tele-delivered mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A mixed-methods feasibility study

Ingeborg Farver-Vestergaard*, Maja O’Connor, Nina C. Smith, Anders Løkke, Elisabeth Bendstrup, Robert Zachariae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has been shown to reduce psychological distress in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but uptake and attendance rates of hospital-based, face-to-face mindfulness-based cognitive therapy are low. The present mixed-methods study evaluates the clinical feasibility of home-based, tele-delivered mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Methods: Eight patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (mean age: 72.6 years; 50% female) received a standardised eight-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy programme delivered via home-based video-conferences in groups of four. Feasibility in relation to (a) clinical change, (b) attendance and (c) instructor-patient working alliance were evaluated with questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Results: Statistically non-significant reductions in psychological distress (Cohen’s d = 0.504; p = 0.399) and physical health status impairment (d = 0.743; p = 0.156) were observed from pre- to post-intervention. Participant narratives about clinical outcomes focused on changes in how to relate to unpleasant sensations, i.e. through attentional flexibility, taking a pause and acceptance. The average attendance rate was 7.5 (standard deviation = 0.8) out of eight sessions and no participants dropped out. The tele-based format appeared to accommodate participants’ planning difficulties and promoted their ability and wish to participate. Although participant narratives suggested the tele-based format to be a barrier to developing a trusting and safe therapeutic environment, working alliance questionnaire scores were comparable to those found for face-to-face mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Discussion: The preliminary results indicate that tele-delivered mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is a clinically feasible intervention in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Future large-scale, randomised controlled trials testing its efficacy on the outcomes of psychological distress and physical health status should include analyses of potential mediators and moderators of the effect as well as and careful monitoring of attendance and adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)468-475
Publication statusPublished - 1. Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • mixed-methods design
  • physical health status
  • psychological distress
  • Telecare


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