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A randomized controlled trial of a mindfulness-based intervention program for people with schizophrenia: 6-month follow-up

Authors Wang LQ, Chien WT, Yip LK, Karatzias T

Received 26 September 2016

Accepted for publication 8 November 2016

Published 7 December 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 3097—3110


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Li-Qun Wang,1 Wai Tong Chien,2 Lai King Yip,2 Thanos Karatzias3

1School of Nursing, Jilin Medical College, Jilin, 2School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China; 3Faculty of Health, Life and Social Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Abstract: Mindfulness-based interventions have been increasingly evidenced to be effective in different mental illnesses but limited in schizophrenia. This single-blind, multisite randomized controlled trial tested the effects of a mindfulness-based psychoeducation group program (MPGP in addition to usual care) versus a conventional psychoeducation group program (CPGP) versus treatment-as-usual (TAU) alone, in schizophrenia spectrum disorders over a 6-month follow-up. In each of the two study sites (outpatient clinics), 69 outpatients with schizophrenia or its subtypes (N=138) were randomly allocated to one of the three study groups (n=46) after baseline measurements and underwent 6 months of intervention. Primary outcomes including patients’ mental state and rehospitalization rate and other secondary outcomes were assessed at entry and at 1 week and 6 months. One hundred and thirty-one (95%) participants completed the interventions assigned and one to two post-tests. Multivariate analyses of variance (followed by univariate contrast tests) indicated that the MPGP participants reported greater reductions in their psychotic symptoms (P=0.003) and length/duration of rehospitalizations (P=0.005) at 6-month follow-up. Patients in the MPGP group also reported greater improvements in their insight into illness/treatment (P=0.0008) and level of functioning (P=0.002) than the CPGP and TAU alone at the 1-week and 6-month follow-up. Overall, the findings suggest that MPGP can be useful in improving the short- to medium-term clinical outcomes of outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, not only in terms of their mental state and risk of relapse but also their insight into illness/treatment and psychosocial functioning.

Keywords: mindfulness intervention, psychoeducation, functioning, insight into illness, psychotic symptoms, rehospitalization, schizophrenia

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