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The Acceptability, Feasibility and Potential Outcomes of an Individual Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Hearing Voices

  • Stephanie Louise (a1) (a2), Susan L. Rossell (a1) (a2) (a3) and Neil Thomas (a1) (a2)

Abstract

Background: A prominent area of advancement in the psychological treatment for people with persisting psychosis has been the application of mindfulness-based therapies. Recent literature has recommended the investigation of focused mindfulness interventions for voices (auditory hallucinations) as a specific experience. To date, only mindfulness programs in group format have been examined. Aims: This non-randomized pilot study aimed to assess the acceptability, feasibility and potential outcomes of an individual mindfulness program for persistent voices on the negative impact of voices on the subjective experience of mental health and wellbeing, depression and voice-related distress and disruption. Also, it aimed to identify potential psychological and neurocognitive mechanisms of change. Method: A new 4-week individual Mindfulness Program for Voices (iMPV) was developed, and piloted with a group of 14 participants with a schizophrenia-spectrum disorder and persisting voices. Participants completed clinical and neurocognitive measures pre- and post-intervention and at 2-month follow-up. Results: Results revealed low attrition rates, high formal practice engagement levels and positive participant feedback. Pre–post outcomes suggested small to moderate effects for a reduction in the negative impact of voices on experience, depression and disruption. Large effects for changes in mindful responding and attentional switching were also identified. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that this novel treatment protocol is appropriate, engaging and safe for persistent voice hearers. Findings for mindful responding and attentional switching suggest these to be potential mechanisms of change for further investigation. Further RCTs are warranted to ascertain the feasibility and efficacy for focused mindfulness interventions for voices of individual format.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence to Stephanie Louise, Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology, Mail H99, PO Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC, Australia3122. E-mail: slouise@swin.edu.au

References

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The Acceptability, Feasibility and Potential Outcomes of an Individual Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Hearing Voices

  • Stephanie Louise (a1) (a2), Susan L. Rossell (a1) (a2) (a3) and Neil Thomas (a1) (a2)

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The Acceptability, Feasibility and Potential Outcomes of an Individual Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Hearing Voices

  • Stephanie Louise (a1) (a2), Susan L. Rossell (a1) (a2) (a3) and Neil Thomas (a1) (a2)
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