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Background: Individuals experiencing psychosis can present with elevated levels of depression and anxiety. Research suggests that aspects of depression and anxiety may serve an avoidant function by limiting the processing of more distressing material. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy suggests that avoidance of aversive mental experiences contributes to psychological inflexibility. Depression and anxiety occurring in the context of psychosis have a limiting effect on quality of life. No research to date has investigated how levels of psychological flexibility and mindfulness are associated with depression and anxiety occurring following psychosis. Aims: This study investigated associations psychological flexibility and mindfulness had with depression and anxiety following psychosis. Method: Thirty participants with psychosis were recruited by consecutive referral on the basis that they were experiencing emotional dysfunction following psychosis. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II) and the Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS) were used. A cross-sectional correlational design was used. Results: The depression and anxiety subscales of the HADS both had significant correlations with psychological flexibility (as assessed by the AAQ-II) and aspects of mindfulness (as assessed by the KIMS). Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that psychological flexibility, but not mindfulness, contributed significantly to models predicting 46% of variance in both depression and anxiety scores. Conclusions: Although aspects of mindfulness are associated with depression and anxiety following an episode of psychosis, psychological flexibility appears to account for a larger proportion of variance in depression and anxiety scores in this population.
A growing body of research supports the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). MBIs consider home-practice as essential to increasing the therapeutic effects of the treatment. To date however, the synthesis of the research conducted on the role of home-practice in controlled MBI studies has been a neglected area. This review aimed to conduct a narrative synthesis of published controlled studies, evaluating mindfulness-based group interventions, which have specifically measured home-practice. Empirical research literature published until June 2016 was searched using five databases. The search strategy focused on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), and home-practice. Included studies met the following criteria: controlled trials, participants 18 years and above, evaluations of MBSR or MBCT, utilised standardised quantitative outcome measures and monitored home-practice using a self-reported measure. Fourteen studies met the criteria and were included in the review. Across all studies, there was heterogeneity in the guidance and resources provided to participants and the approaches used for monitoring home-practice. In addition, the guidance on the length of home-practice was variable across studies, which indicates that research studies and teachers are not adhering to the published protocols. Finally, only seven studies examined the relationship between home-practice and clinical outcomes, of which four found that home-practice predicted improvements on clinical outcome measures. Future research should adopt a standardised approach for monitoring home-practice across MBIs. Additionally, studies should assess whether the amount of home-practice recommended to participants is in line with MBSR/MBCT manualised protocols. Finally, research should utilise experimental methodologies to explicitly explore the relationship between home-practice and clinical outcomes.