Reducing distress and supporting positive mental health withmindfulness

PhD Thesis

Droscher, H. 2017. Reducing distress and supporting positive mental health withmindfulness. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsDroscher, H.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Progress in mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) and research for adults with severe and enduring mental health problems has been gradual, held back in part by a belief that mindfulness may be harmful for this client group. Adapted MBIs have shown promise in the treatment of two commonly presenting problems in secondary care services; psychosis and borderline personality disorder, and emerging evidence suggests that this approach is both safe and therapeutic. Effectiveness of a transdiagnostic MBI is relatively unexplored, therefore a feasibility study is needed. A mixed-method, randomized controlled trial and observational study explored feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a brief MBI in a naturalistic setting.

Study feasibility was demonstrated through good rates of recruitment (n=26 in three months) and retention. However, rates of outcome measure completion fell just shy of target. Intervention feasibility and acceptability was demonstrated through good attendance and positive feedback.

Content analysis of post-intervention interviews (n=15) suggests most participants found the intervention helpful, albeit challenging at times. Four overarching themes emerged from responses; effects on wellbeing, change processes, internal factors, and practicalities. A trend towards improvement was observed for both groups on standardized measures of mindfulness, compassion, anxiety, and depression (Cohen’s d ranged from 0.31 to 1.05). A trend towards deterioration was observed on a measure of wellbeing for the control group only. Findings point to the potential benefits of a brief MBI in this setting, and warrant further testing in a larger trial with an active control.

KeywordsBorderline personality disorder; mindfulness; positive mental health
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Publication process dates
Deposited24 Apr 2018
AcceptedNov 2017
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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