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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Application for African American Caregivers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AG071168-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41AG071168
Amount: $251,841.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIA
Solicitation Number: PA20-261
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-07-31
Small Business Information
Potomac, MD 20854-3956
United States
DUNS: 078462689
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 (410) 837-3977
Business Contact
Phone: (410) 570-7213
Research Institution
BALTIMORE, MD 21218-2680
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

AbstractThere are approximately 43.5 million informal (unpaid) caregivers in the U.S., of which 5.6 million are
African American. Informal caregivers often provide a variety of types of support including emotional, physical,
and financial, to people with chronic conditions.1 Providing care can be very stressful and emotionally and
physically exhausting for informal caregivers.2 African American caregivers have unique needs because they
are more likely to experience stressors related to limited support for respite care and a lack of access to
culturally sensitive health care providers and services,3-5 placing them at higher risk for burnout and adverse
health outcomes.6 Thus, preventing or reducing caregiver stress is especially important in order to sustain
informal caregiving.One type of intervention that has shown promise in helping caregivers manage stress, anxiety, and
depression is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). While MBSR is typically taught in face-to-face
group sessions, this Phase I STTR proposes to use MBSR components such as sitting meditations, a body
scan, and yoga exercises to create a mobile-friendly application (app) tailored for African American informal
caregivers of people with chronic conditions. The proposed app, entitled Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
for African American Caregivers (MBSR-AAC), will employ video and audio adaptations of MBSR activities in
addition to content tailored for the target population. Although there are numerous mindfulness apps available,
none specifically target African American caregivers, a group of people who could greatly benefit from
reductions in anxiety and depression, which, in turn, may improve the mental and physical health of their care
recipients.The proposed study will use in-depth qualitative interview data from caregivers and key informants to
inform the development of the MBSR-AAC and to evaluate its proposed content, including video and audio
presentations. After the MBSR-AAC is developed, a feasibility trial will be conducted to examine usability. Also,
ecological momentary assessment-style outcome data will be collected to examine the association between
number of minutes using the app and real-time perceived stress. Data from the feasibility trial will be used for
final refinements, which will leave the MBSR-AAC well-poised for rigorous efficacy testing in Phase II and rapid
market scale-up.Project NarrativeAfrican American informal caregivers providing emotional and instrumental support to people with chronic
conditions may experience high levels of caregiving-associated stress. This stress may lead to depletions in
mental health reserves, subsequent declines in physical health, and the potential loss of caregiver support to
care recipients. The proposed project seeks to develop a mindfulness app for caregivers entitled Mindfulness
Based Stress Reduction for African American Caregivers (MBSR-AAC), which will be designed to reduce
caregiver stress, depression, and anxiety. Reducing stress may lead to improved mental health, which could
lead to better caregiver and care recipient relationships while preventing burnout and cessation of caregiving.
App features will include video and audio presentations of MBSR activities, personalized feedback and
mindfulness activities for caregiver and care recipient, all of which would be tailored for the target population.
The study will use in-depth qualitative interviews to inform the development of the app and a feasibility trial to
assess the app’s usability and acceptability.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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