This research project has ended. View a list of current research projects or past projects.

Key DFM Personnel

Bruce Barrett, MD, PhD – Principal Investigator
Shari Barlow – Study Coordinator
Michele Gassman – Project Staff


National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)


The purpose of this study is to determine whether mind-body practices such as meditation or exercise can reduce the incidence and severity of acute respiratory infection (ARI).


The objectives of this study are: 1) to determine whether mindfulness meditation or moderately strenuous exercise can enhance immune processes such as antibody response to influenza vaccination (flu shots) and 2 ) to investigate the influence of stress, optimism, anxiety and positive and negative emotion on immunity and resistance to respiratory infection.


This study involves recruitment of participants age 50 and older. The study includes participation in an 8 week training program in mindfulness meditation or an 8 week exercise training program. Participants will be followed with telephone contact every 2 weeks, with monthly questionnaire instruments and with daily self-assessments during ARI illness episodes.

Media Coverage