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Mindfulness Groups for Distressing Voices and Paranoia: A Replication and Randomized Feasibility Trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2009

Paul Chadwick*
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK
Stephanie Hughes
Bangor University and South Essex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, UK
Daphne Russell
Bangor University, UK
Ian Russell
Bangor University, UK
Dave Dagnan
University of Lancaster, UK
Reprint requests to Paul Chadwick, Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK. E-mail:


Background: The clinical literature cautions against use of meditation by people with psychosis. There is, however, evidence for acceptance-based therapy reducing relapse, and some evidence for clinical benefits of mindfulness groups for people with distressing psychosis, though no data on whether participants became more mindful. Aims: To assess feasibility of randomized evaluation of group mindfulness therapy for psychosis, to replicate clinical gains observed in one small uncontrolled study, and to assess for changes in mindfulness. Method: Twenty-two participants with current distressing psychotic experiences were allocated at random between group-based mindfulness training and a waiting list for this therapy. Mindfulness training comprised twice-weekly sessions for 5 weeks, plus home practice (meditation CDs were supplied), followed by 5 weeks of home practice. Results: There were no significant differences between intervention and waiting-list participants. Secondary analyses combining both groups and comparing scores before and after mindfulness training revealed significant improvement in clinical functioning (p = .013) and mindfulness of distressing thoughts and images (p = .037). Conclusions: Findings on feasibility are encouraging and secondary analyses replicated earlier clinical benefits and showed improved mindfulness of thoughts and images, but not voices.

Research Article
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2009

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