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A Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Forensic Psychiatric Inpatients Who Hear Voices

7 June 2018


Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychotic spectrum disorders frequently report distress from their experience of hearing voices. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have demonstrated efficacy in decreasing distress from several physical and psychological problems (e.g., chronic pain, substance use cravings, etc.). The present study investigates the use of an MBI with 11 forensic inpatients in a public psychiatric hospital who reported hearing voices. This study used a within-subjects design to assess self-reported distress from hearing voices and clinical functioning before and after delivery of the MBI. On self-reported ratings of distress from voices, one participant showed reliable and clinically significant change in the recovery classification and another participant’s post-intervention scores fell in the improvement range. Six participants showed reliable and clinically significant improvement in their clinical functioning. Two participants showed deterioration in their clinical functioning from pre-test to post-test. The remaining participants (n=3) showed no clinically significant change. These findings suggest that some patients experienced improvements in their distress from hearing voices and clinical functioning after the intervention. The implications and limitations of these findings are discussed, and future directions of research are suggested.


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