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

The lab's areas of research and clinical focus include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), mindfulness, emotional intelligence, motivational interviewing-based health coaching, mindful communication, positive psychology and physical activity, and how these approaches relate to health outcomes.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Learn about a study using health coaching to reduce COPD hospitalizations.

Ongoing research projects in our lab include:

  • Home-based rehabilitation for COPD. The purpose of this study is to determine if technology that measures activity in people living with COPD and motivational interviewing telephone-based health coaching positively impacts how active people are in daily life. (NHLBI, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute R01) Read more about this study.
  • Increasing adherence to pulmonary rehabilitation after COPD-related hospitalizations. This study is being done to determine if participating in a pulmonary rehabilitation program at home using new technology and health coaching after dismissal from the hospital will decrease re-hospitalization and to study physical activity in daily life over time after a hospitalization. (NIH, National Cancer Institute R61)
  • Mechanistic effects of health coaching to reduce COPD hospitalizations. This study is exploring the benefit of health coaching on people with severe symptoms in the outpatient clinic. The goals are to see if health coaching improves well-being and quality of life and physical activity in patients with COPD and also if the benefits are maintained over time. (NHLBI, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute K24)
  • A home-based intervention to promote mindful breathing awareness through pursed-lip breathing training for patients with COPD. This project involves patients with COPD performing pursed-lip breathing training at home with the hope of reducing breathlessness, stress and anxiety. (NHLBI, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute R43)
  • Home-based rehabilitation and health coaching for patients with low back pain. This study is to assess whether physical therapy regimens performed independently at home along with health coaching might decrease pain, improve function and hasten return to normal activities.
  • Reduce dyspnea in patients with chronic lung disease and severe obesity. This project includes telephone coaching sessions with a trained health coach, the Weight Watchers lifestyle program and mindfulness-based exercises done at home, with the aim of reducing breathlessness.
  • Impact of physical activity and sedentary behavior on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease quality-of-life outcomes. This project explores the relationship between measurements of physical activity or sedentary behavior and the most common physical and emotional symptoms in patients with COPD, with the goal of determining which symptoms and patient perceptions of their disease are able to be impacted by changes in physical activity behavior.
  • Mindfulness-based interventions for providers and 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.

Past projects

Our lab's past research projects include:

  • Health care coaching and smart technology to improve well-being and physical activity in COPD. This project studied whether motivational interviewing-based health coaching plus remote activity monitoring improved daily physical activity in people with COPD. (NHLBI, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, SBIR)
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation before lung cancer resection. This project studied the effects on surgical outcomes of a simple program of pre-surgical rehabilitation that included breathing awareness training, mindful exercises and inspiratory muscle training. (NIH, National Cancer Institute RO1)
  • Identifying therapeutic targets to deal with stress through mindfulness. This project aimed to identify the factors associated with improved stress management in a large cohort of Mayo Clinic employees in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program.
  • Multicomponent intervention to decrease COPD-related hospitalizations. This project studied 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)