The Mindful Breathing Laboratory at Mayo Clinic aims to improve well-being in chronic conditions through self-awareness, self-management and social awareness.

Dr. Benzo's areas of research and clinical interest include mindfulness, emotional intelligence, motivational interviewing-based health coaching, mindful communication and physical activity, and how these approaches relate to health outcomes.

Ongoing research projects in Dr. Benzo's Mindful Breathing Lab include:

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation before lung cancer resection. This project studies the effects on surgical outcomes of a simple program of pre-surgical rehabilitation that includes breathing awareness training, mindful exercises and inspiratory muscle training. (NIH, National Cancer Institute RO1)
  • Health care coaching and smart technology to improve well-being and physical activity in COPD. This project studies whether motivational interviewing-based health coaching plus remote activity monitoring improves daily physical activity in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Multicomponent intervention to decrease COPD-related hospitalizations. This project studies rehospitalization rates, quality of life and physical activity using motivational interviewing-based health coaching plus home pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD after discharge from an exacerbation-related hospitalization. (NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute RO1)
  • Identifying therapeutic targets to deal with stress through mindfulness. This project aims to identify the factors associated with improved stress management in a large cohort of Mayo Clinic employees in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.
  • Mindfulness-based interventions for providers, patients with dyspnea and their caregivers. This project uses a series of interventions to evaluate the effect of mindfulness practices on patient-reported outcomes, including well-being, burnout and stress.
  • Mindfulness for Healthy Living. This clinical program for chronic conditions offers a hands-on, mindfulness-based rehabilitation program aimed to equip patients, caregivers and providers with tools to live better. The key concept is that people can play an active role in self-care through self-awareness and self-management by setting simple goals that align with their priorities.