The negative association between trait mindfulness and post-traumatic stress disorder: A 4.5-year prospective cohort study

Author: Lionel Gibert1,2,3, Wissam El Hage2,4, Charles Verdonk1, Bernard Levy2, Bruno Falissard2, Marion Trousselard1
1 IRBA: Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées, Brétigny sur Orge, France.
2 INSERM: Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Paris, France.
3 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Paul Brousse, Unité de Recherche Psychiatrie-Comorbidités-Addictions, PSYCOMADD, Villejuif, France.
4 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Tours, Tours, France.
Conference/Journal: Brain Behav
Date published: 2021 Aug 6
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/brb3.2163. , Word Count: 219

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic, disabling condition. Our main objective is to investigate the association between trait mindfulness and PTSD over a period of 54 months. The secondary objective is to provide an exhaustive description of PTSD trajectories after the Bataclan attack.

We designed a prospective cohort study of 133 subjects present in the Bataclan concert hall during the November 2015 terrorist attack in Paris, France. Data were recorded 6, 18, 30, and 54 months after the attack. The primary endpoint was evaluated using the PTSD Check List Scale. Trait mindfulness was measured by the 14-item Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory.

FMI scores were consistently, significantly, and negatively associated with PCL-5 scores. Adjusted odds ratios were at 0.81 (6 months), 0.88 (18 months) 0.82 (30 months), and 0.81 (54 months). PTSD prevalence 6 months after the event was 77%; it remained at 41% after 54 months. PTSD status of subjects is fluctuating. Latent class analysis divided the cohort into 3 groups: 21% of subject who remained below PTSD threshold throughout, 30% who remained above throughout, and 49% who steadily reduced their PTSD scores over time.

In our cohort, mindfulness is negatively associated with PTSD. Mindfulness programs are designed to improve global resilience and treat anxiety and mood disorders. Further research is needed to investigate if improving trait mindfulness is possible and beneficial for patients suffering from PTSD.

Keywords: PTSD; aggression; early intervention; epidemiology; risk factors.

PMID: 34363334 DOI: 10.1002/brb3.2163