Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African (MENA) Americans experience elevated rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, and other health concerns such as cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders. At the same time, they lack access to culturally acceptable interventions that target underlying risk factors, such as stress. Further, Arab/MENA Americans are vulnerable to racial-ethnic stress, including discrimination and intergenerational trauma. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been shown to improve well-being and reduce stress in the general population, but there are currently no published studies of MBIs with Arab/MENA Americans. This study aims to develop an MBI for Arab/MENA Americans that is adapted for their cultural and sociopolitical contexts. We will draw upon evidence-based MBIs to develop our intervention and integrate cultural adaptations identified in a prior study conducted by our research group on perceptions of mindfulness among Arab/MENA Americans. We also aim to evaluate the difficulty of implementing this MBI and its acceptability among Arab/MENA Americans. We will implement three cycles of our adapted MBI with a sample of 36 Arab/MENA Americans. Our study uses mixed methods to examine feasibility and acceptability, such as semi-structured interviews, self-report measures, and figures related to participant recruitment, retention, and completion of study measures.

Andrea Haidar, MA, LCSW

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Grantee, Mentee