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Mind-Body Skills and Physical Activity for MCI and Chronic Pain


This study will adapt and examine the Active Brains mind-body program to meet the needs of older adults with chronic pain and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Minimum Age Maximum Age Gender Healthy Volunteers
60 Years N/A All No
August 2019
December 2020

  • Nonmalignant chronic pain for 3 months or more
  • Subjective memory-related problems
  • Able to perform a 6-minute walk test at an accelerated pace
  • Own a smartphone with Bluetooth 4.0
  • Free of psychotropic or pain medication for at least 2 weeks prior to study treatment or stable on medications for at least 6 weeks
  • Cleared by a medical doctor for study participation
  • Lead a sedentary lifestyle

  • Diagnosed with medical illness expected to worsen in the next 6 months
  • Serious mental illness or instability for which hospitalization may be likely in the next 6 months
  • Current suicidal ideation
  • Lifetime history of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other psychotic disorder, or substance dependence
  • Substance use disorder within past 6 months
  • Practice of yoga/meditation or other mind-body techniques for relaxation once weekly or more for 45 minutes or more within the last 3 months
  • Regular use of Fitbit in the last 3 months
  • Engagement in regular intensive physical exercise for more than 30 minutes daily
  • Unable to walk without assistance device (e.g., wheelchair, walker)

Active Brains is an 8-week program designed to increase quality of life, resiliency, and ability to cope with medical symptoms and stress. The program focuses on relaxation methods, stress identification, and coping. Participants will be assigned to either the Active Brains program or the program with a Fitbit wearable device to record physical activity.

Name City State Zip Status Primary Contact
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston Massachusetts 02114 Recruiting Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

Name Role Affiliation
Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD Principal Investigator Massachusetts General Hospital

Name Phone Email
Ana-Maria Vranceanu, PhD 617-643-7996
Melissa Gates, BA 617-643-9406


Integrating Mind Body Skills and Physical Activity to Improve Physical, Cognitive, and Emotional Outcomes in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Chronic Pain