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The Cultural Relevance of Mindfulness Meditation as a Health Intervention for African Americans Implications for Reducing Stress-Related Health Disparities
Journal of Holistic Nursing
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2014
Pages: 147 - 160
Source ID: shanti-sources-113626
Abstract: African Americans experience a disproportionate rate of stress-related health conditions compared to European Americans. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be effective for managing stress and various stress-related health conditions. This study explored the cultural relevance of mindfulness meditation training for African Americans adults. Fifteen African American adults with past or current experience with mindfulness meditation training were interviewed. Participants felt that mindfulness meditation helped them with enhanced stress management, direct health improvement, and enhanced self-awareness and purposefulness. They felt that they would recommend it and that other African Americans would be open to the practice but suggested that its presentation may need to be adapted. They suggested emphasizing the health benefits, connecting it to familiar spiritual ideology and cultural practices, supplementing the reading material with African American writers, increasing communication (education, instructor availability, "buddy system," etc.), and including African Americans as instructors and participants. By implementing minor adaptations that enhance cultural relevance, mindfulness meditation can be a beneficial therapeutic intervention for this population.