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Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Preliminary Evaluation

  • Mark A. Craigie (a1), Clare S. Rees (a1), Ali Marsh (a1) and Paula Nathan (a2)
Abstract

Mindfulness training has been proposed as a potentially important new approach for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, to date only a few studies have investigated mindfulness training for GAD. The aim of this study was to further investigate symptom change and recovery in pathological worry after mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) using an uncontrolled pre-post design. Twenty-three adults with a primary diagnosis of GAD participated in the study. The MBCT program involved 9 weekly 2-hour group sessions, a post-treatment assessment session, and 6-week and 3-month follow-up sessions. Intent-to-treat analysis revealed significant improvements in pathological worry, stress, quality of life, and a number of other symptoms at post-treatment, which were maintained at follow-up. Attrition was also low, and MBCT was perceived as a credible and acceptable intervention. However, when applying standardized recovery criteria to pathological worry scores, the rate of recovery at post-treatment was very small, although improved at follow-up. Overall, the findings suggest MBCT is definitely worthy of further investigation as a treatment option for GAD, but falls well short of outcomes achieved by past research. Possible reasons for the poor rate of recovery, implications, and limitations are briefly outlined.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Reprint requests to Mark Craigie, The Marian Centre, 187 Cambridge Street, Wembley 6014, Perth, Australia. E-mail: mcraigie@themariancentre.com.au
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