Mindfulness-based stress reduction for patients with anxiety disorders: evaluation in a randomized controlled trial.

Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Bergen, Christiesgate 12, 5015 Bergen, Norway.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 04/2011; 49(4):281-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2011.01.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for patients with heterogeneous anxiety disorders. Seventy-six self-referred patients were randomized to MBSR or a waiting-list control condition. Eight participants did not complete the eight-week MBSR intervention. Treatment completers improved significantly on all outcome measures compared to controls. The completer sample showed medium to large effect sizes on measures of anxiety (Cohen's d = 0.55-0.97), and a large effect size for symptoms of depression (Cohen's d = 0.97). Intention-to-treat analyses yielded effect sizes in the small to moderate range (Cohen's d = 0.32-0.76). Gains were maintained at six months follow-up. The percentage of participants reaching recovered status was highest for symptom measures of depression and anxiety, and lower for worry and trait anxiety. Mediation analyses indicated that mindfulness fully mediated changes in acute anxiety symptoms, and partially mediated changes in worry and trait anxiety. However, the present study did not find evidence of temporal precedence for the proposed mediator. In the absence of true mediation and an active control condition, it cannot be ruled out that results are due to non-specific aspects of treatment. Despite these and other limitations, we conclude that MBSR is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders and related symptomatology.

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    ABSTRACT: Given the extensive evidence base for the efficacy of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), researchers have started to explore the mechanisms underlying their therapeutic effects on psychological outcomes, using methods of mediation analysis. No known studies have systematically reviewed and statistically integrated mediation studies in this field. The present study aimed to systematically review mediation studies in the literature on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), to identify potential psychological mechanisms underlying MBCT and MBSR's effects on psychological functioning and wellbeing, and evaluate the strength and consistency of evidence for each mechanism. For the identified mechanisms with sufficient evidence, quantitative synthesis using two-stage meta-analytic structural equation modelling (TSSEM) was used to examine whether these mechanisms mediate the impact of MBIs on clinical outcomes. This review identified strong, consistent evidence for cognitive and emotional reactivity, moderate and consistent evidence for mindfulness, rumination, and worry, and preliminary but insufficient evidence for self-compassion and psychological flexibility as mechanisms underlying MBIs. TSSEM demonstrated evidence for mindfulness, rumination and worry as significant mediators of the effects of MBIs on mental health outcomes. Most reviewed mediation studies have several key methodological shortcomings which preclude robust conclusions regarding mediation. However, they provide important groundwork on which future studies could build. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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