The effects of a mindfulness intervention on obsessive-compulsive symptoms in a non-clinical student population

Marijke Hanstede, Yori Gidron, Ivan Nyklíček

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

This controlled pilot study tested the effects of a mindfulness intervention on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms and tested the psychological processes possibly mediating such effects. Participants with OCD symptoms (12 women, 5 men) received either mindfulness training (N=8) or formed a waiting-list control group (N = 9). Meditation included 8 group meetings teaching meditative breathing, body-scan, and mindful daily living, applied to OCD. The intervention had a significant and large effect on mindfulness, OCD symptoms, letting go, and thought-action fusion. Controlling for changes in "letting go," group effects on change in OCD symptoms disappeared, pointing at a mediating role for letting go. This may be the first controlled study demonstrating that a mindfulness intervention reduces OCD symptoms, possibly explained by increasing letting go capacity. If replicated in larger and clinical samples, mindfulness training may be an alternative therapy for OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)776-779
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume196
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Letting-go
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Obsessive-compulsive symptoms
  • Thought-action fusion

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