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

Author: Hanstede M, Gidron Y, Nyklícek I
Centre of Research on Psychology in Somatic Disease (CoRPS), Department of Medical Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherland
Conference/Journal: J Nerv Ment Dis.
Date published: 2008 Oct
Other: Volume ID: 196 , Issue ID: 10 , Pages: 776-9 , Word Count: 137

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.
PMID: 18852623