(MSW 526) Module 5: Mindfulness Intervention Research Part 1 M i n d f u l n e s s I n t e r v e n t i o n f o r C h i l d A b u s e S u r v i v o r s

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M i n d f u l n e s s I n t e r v e n t i o n f o r C h i l d A b u s e S u r v i v o r s

m

Elizabeth Kimbrough and Trish Magyari
Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Family and
Community Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine

m

Patricia Langenberg
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine,
University of Maryland School of Medicine

m

Margaret Chesney and Brian Berman
Center for Integrative Medicine, Department of Family and
Community Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Twenty-seven adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse participated

in a pilot study comprising an 8-week mindfulness meditation-based

stress reduction (MBSR) program and daily home practice of

mindfulness skills. Three refresher classes were provided through

final follow-up at 24 weeks. Assessments of depressive symptoms,

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and mindfulness,

were conducted at baseline, 4, 8, and 24 weeks. At 8 weeks,

depressive symptoms were reduced by 65%. Statistically significant

improvements were observed in all outcomes post-MBSR, with

effect sizes above 1.0. Improvements were largely sustained until

24 weeks. Of three PTSD symptom criteria, symptoms of avoidance/

numbing were most greatly reduced. Compliance to class attendance

and home practice was high, with the intervention proving safe and

acceptable to participants. These results warrant further investigation

of the MBSR approach in a randomized, controlled trial in this patient

population. & 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 66: 17–33,

2010.

The authors would like to thank Laura Benzel for her skillful research coordination, and Mary Bahr-

Robertson for her astute management. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our participants.

The intellectual and inspirational contributions of the faculty at the Center for Integrative Medicine, Jon

Kabat-Zinn and Tara Brach, are appreciated. We are most grateful for the commitment and generosity of

The Mental Insight Foundation, who provided the funding for this study.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to: Elizabeth Kimbrough, Center for
Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Kernan Hospital Mansion, 2200
Kernan Drive, Baltimore, MD 21207-6665; e-mail: ekimbrough@compmed.umm.edu

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY, Vo l . 6 6 ( 1 ) , 1 7 — 3 3 ( 2 0 10 ) & 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). D O I : 1 0 . 1 0 0 2 / j c l p . 2 0 6 2 4

Keywords: child abuse; depression; post-traumatic stress disorder;

mindfulness; meditation

Introduction

Childhood Sexual Abuse

It is estimated that over a quarter of adult women in the United States are victims of
childhood sexual abuse (CSA; Briere & Elliott, 2003; Diehl & Prout, 2002; Felitti
et al., 1998; Lev-Wiesel, 2008), resulting in potentially enormous psychological scars
that can remain across the lifetime (Diehl & Prout, 2002; Polusny & Follette, 1995).
Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common in these trauma
survivors (Breslau, Davis, Peterson, & Schultz, 2000; Lev-Wiesel, 2008), occurring
often not as isolated conditions, but embedded in a complex trauma spectrum that
includes anxiety, substance abuse, self-efficacy, sleep issues, and somatic complaints
(Breslau, 2002; Breslau et al., 2000; Diehl & Prout, 2002; van der Kolk, Roth,
Pelcovitz, Sunday, & Spinazzola, 2005).
Psychological treatment for CSA survivors comprises traditional psychotherapy,

such as psychodynamic and supportive therapy (Bisson & Andrew, 2007), as well as
cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches for PTSD (Harvey, Bryant, & Tarrier,
2003). Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) and a variation of it, cognitive processing
therapy (CPT) share a strong evidence base (Foa et al., 1999; Foa, Rothbaum, Riggs,
& Murdock, 1991; Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2007; Resick, Nishith, & Griffin,
2003). However, exposure therapy has not been shown equivocally to surpass other
approaches for PTSD (Bisson & Andrew, 2007; Bryant, Moulds, Guthrie, Dang, &
Nixon, 2003; Marks, Lovell, Noshirvani, Livanou, & Thrasher, 1998; Rothbaum,
Astin, & Marsteller, 2005). That CPT was found to be equally effective with and
without its exposure component supports this (Resick et al., 2008). The case has been
made that exposure therapy is not suitable for all, with some patients and therapists
not willing to face its inherent distress, despite evidence of ultimate success (Follette,
2006; Orsillo & Batten, 2005; Rosen et al., 2004).
Recently, therapies incorporating mindfulness skills have been studied. Accep-

tance and commitment therapy (ACT) offers a combination of cognitive-behavioral
therapy, behavioral psychology, and mindfulness training (Hayes, Luoma, Bond,
Masuda, & Lillis, 2006). ACT has been proposed as a treatment for PTSD (Follette,
2006; Orsillo & Batten, 2005; Walser & Westrup, 2007), but as yet no clinical trials
have been published. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a proven approach
that utilizes mindfulness skills primarily in treatment of borderline personality
disorder (Linehan, 2000), but few data are available on its use in the treatment of
PTSD. ACT and DBT are generally practiced in one-on-one therapeutic sessions.
Given the vast need of services for CSA trauma survivors, increased focus on
reducing healthcare costs, and the potential role of mindfulness in facilitating
healing, a group-based mindfulness method that may be more cost-effective, less
confronting, and is evidence-based could be an appealing choice. One such potential
program is mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR; Kabat-Zinn, 1982).

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

MBSR has been shown in several studies to be effective in reducing trauma spec-
trum symptoms such as depression, psychological distress, anxiety, sleep, and

18 Journal of Clinical Psychology, January 2010

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

somatic complaints (Carlson & Garland, 2005; Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt,
& Walach, 2004; Kabat-Zinn, 1982; Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, & Burney, 1985;
Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth, Burney, & Sellers, 1987; Kabat-Zinn et al., 1992; Miller,
Fletcher, & Kabat-Zinn, 1995; Pradhan et al., 2007; Shapiro, Bootzin, Figueredo,
Lopez, & Schwartz, 2003; Williams, Teasdale, Segal, & Kabat-Zinn, 2007).
Neuroscience research has shown MBSR to be associated with functional brain
changes and emotional and attention improvements (Davidson et al., 2003; Jha,
Krompinger, & Baime, 2007). Mindfulness is described as moment-to-moment, non-
judgmental attention and awareness actively cultivated and developed through
meditation (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). By continually bringing the mind back to present
moment awareness, mindfulness practice is thought to increase clarity, attention,
calmness, and emotional well-being. Didactic course material is presented to
engage awareness of the relative and malleable nature of thoughts and judgments
in a manner influenced by cognitive-behavioral therapy (Segal, Williams, &
Teasdale, 2002).
The efficacy of MBSR in reducing depressive and PTSD symptoms among trauma

survivors has not yet been established. Work toward this end currently is underway
in military and domestic abuse populations (King, 2008; Dutton, 2008). At present,
however, no study found in the literature has investigated the effect of MBSR with
CSA survivors on depressive and PTSD symptoms or other psychological outcomes.
To begin the process of testing MBSR for this indication, we conducted a feasibility
pilot study of MBSR among adult CSA trauma survivors. We hypothesized that
participation in MBSR would be associated with improvements in depressive
symptoms at 8 weeks, the study’s primary outcome. We also hypothesized that
participation in MBSR would be associated with improvements in secondary
outcomes of PTSD and anxiety symptoms, and mindfulness.

Methods

Participants

Adult CSA survivors were recruited through advertisements in Baltimore news-
papers and radio, informational flyers widely distributed through the state chapter of
registered social workers, CSA survivor networks and advocacy groups, and in
community health fairs. Respondents were screened by telephone and, if eligible,
were invited to the baseline session. Inclusion criteria included a history of CSA,
being aged 21 or older, and having a score at baseline on the General Severity Index
of the Brief Symptoms Inventory Z0.50. It is likely that thousands of CSA survivors
have been enrolled in public MBSR courses since its inception in the early 1970’s.
However, because this was the first research study, of which we were aware, to use
MBSR exclusively with CSA survivors, we wanted to take all possible precautions
for participant well-being. For this reason, all participants were required to be in
concurrent psychotherapy with a licensed practitioner. We felt this would allow a
safety net as well as a venue in which to process insights that arose in meditation or
in the MBSR class. After supplying information to the therapists about the study, a
requirement of enrollment was that therapists provide assent for their client’s
participation. Exclusion criteria included major psychiatric illness such as borderline
personality disorder or schizophrenia. Clear dissociative identity disorder manifested
as multiple personalities was excluded, while participants with dissociative identity
not otherwise specified were included. Potential participants also were excluded for
active alcohol or drug dependency, inability to attend study sessions, participation in

19Mindfulness Intervention for Child Abuse Survivors

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

a concurrent clinical trial, or scheduled major surgery. All patients remained on their
prescribed medication and under the regular care of their therapists throughout
the study.

Procedure

Participants deemed eligible following baseline were asked to participate in the
MBSR class for 8 weeks, followed by an 8-week assessment visit. The intervention
then continued with participants invited to three MBSR refresher classes over
4 months, with the final assessment made 24 weeks post-baseline. Three cohorts of
participants took part: cohort 1 (n 5 9) took place during May–November 2007,
cohort 2 (n 5 7) during October 2007–April 2008, and cohort 3 (n 5 11) during
February–August 2008. Adverse events were monitored at each visit and were
reported in accordance with procedures of the University of Maryland Human
Research Protections Office, which approved the protocol (H-28934). All
participants provided written informed consent.

Outcome Measures

Depressive symptoms were measured by the Beck Depression Inventory Second
Edition (BDI-II) (Beck, Steer, Ball, & Ranieri, 1996; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996).
The BDI-II is a widely used, standardized, and validated self-report measure of
depressive symptom severity. The 21-item scale addresses affective, behavioral,
biological, cognitive, and motivational symptoms of depression in a series of
statements that are rated from 0 to 3 to indicate the severity of symptoms. The
summary score ranges from 0–63, with those in the range of 0–13 indicating minimal
depression, 14–19 mild, 20–28 moderate, and 29–63 severe (Beck, Steer, & Brown,
1996).
PTSD was measured by the PTSD checklist (PCL; Weathers et al., 1994). This

widely used, 17-item self-report scale was developed by the National Center for
PTSD. The PCL score is the sum of points from all 17 items on the questionnaire,
which are rated as not at all, a little bit, moderately, quite a bit, or extremely over the
past month on a 1–5 scale, respectively. The score ranges from 17 to 85, with higher
scores indicating greater symptom distress. The diagnostic properties of the PCL
have been validated and replicated (Blanchard, Jones-Alexander, Buckley, &
Forneris, 1996). The PCL also has been validated as a tool for identifying the
presence or diagnosis of PTSD, using an algorithm based on the DSM-IV criteria for
PTSD and validated against the gold-standard Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale
(Blanchard et al., 1996). The algorithm counts the number of items on the PCL
endorsed as moderately or worse in each of the three PTSD symptom clusters:
criterion B (reexperiencing), criterion C (avoidance/numbing), and criterion D
(hyperarousal). A diagnosis of PTSD is made if the participant has one or more
positive symptoms in criterion B, three or more in criterion C, and two or more in
criterion D (Blanchard et al., 1996).
Anxiety was measured using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis &

Melisaratos, 1983). The BSI includes a reliable and valid subscale for assessment of
anxiety. Scores on the anxiety subscale range from 0–4, with higher levels indicating
greater distress. The BSI also contains a summary measure of overall psychological
distress, called the general severity index (GSI). The GSI was used in the baseline
assessment as a screening tool. Those who scored less than 0.50 on the GSI were
ineligible for the study. This cut-off for psychological distress was based on our

20 Journal of Clinical Psychology, January 2010

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

previous study of MBSR with rheumatoid arthritis patients, where we observed an
apparent floor effect associated with low baseline levels of psychological distress in
the sample (Pradhan et al., 2007).
Mindfulness was measured by the Mindfulness Attention Awareness scale

(MAAS; Brown & Ryan, 2003). This scale was designed to assess the state
of mindfulness by evaluating one of its core characteristics, attention to what
is taking place in the present. Scores on the MAAS have been shown to
increase during mindfulness-based interventions and are associated with higher
positive affect and psychological health (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Carlson & Brown,
2005). The range of the MAAS score is 1–6, with higher scores indicating greater
mindfulness.
Adherence to home practice was recorded on practice logs. Each day, participants

were asked to record the total number of minutes spent on five home practices
(sitting meditation, walking meditation, the body scan, gentle yoga, and informal
practices). Seven days of practice were recorded on one form and handed in on a
weekly basis. Attendance at classes, the retreat, and refresher sessions was
monitored.
Qualitative data were collected at 4 weeks and 8 weeks, eliciting the participants’

views on the MBSR program and how it may or may not have impacted their lives.
These data will be described in another setting.

Intervention

The MBSR intervention used in this study followed the manual developed at the
University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Classes and homework. The MBSR course comprised 8 weekly, 2.5–3-hour
classes, and a 5-hour silent retreat. Formal meditation practices were introduced in
four formats: (a) sitting meditation, using aspects of the present moment as anchors
of attention (such as breath, sound, body sensations, or open awareness), as well as a
guided meditation to cultivate compassionate well wishes for self and others (sitting
meditation); (b) a progressive body awareness meditation (body scan); (c)
contemplative walking (walking meditation); and (d) gentle yoga stretching
exercises (gentle yoga). In addition, participants were asked to carry out certain
activities of daily life in a mindful fashion each week, including mindful
communication and mindful eating; these were called informal practices. Each
MBSR class session had four components: (a) learning and practicing formal
meditations; (b) learning and reinforcing informal practices; (c) inquiring into one’s
present moment experience in domains of physical, emotional, and cognitive
experience, while observing those experiences nonjudgmentally (mindful inquiry);
and (d) discussion of the previous week’s lessons and home practice experiences
(integration). Home practice had three components each week: (a) formal
meditations; (b) informal practices; and (c) reading the companion text Full
Catastrophe Living (Kabat-Zinn, 1990), which provides an articulation of the
concept and practice of mindfulness. Participants were asked to practice at home
20–30 minutes a day, 6 days a week from Week 1 to Week 8 (7 weeks), aided by
audio CDs.

Modifications. The classic MBSR intervention was augmented in two ways, both
related to the manner in which course content was taught, rather than changes to the
content itself. First, to reinforce safety, sensitive attention was given to the language

21Mindfulness Intervention for Child Abuse Survivors

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

used to explain and direct class activities. Influenced by DBT and mindfulness-based
cognitive therapy (MBCT; Teasdale et al., 2000), this approach encouraged
participants to stay present to experience, while ensuring that the choice to go
forward or pull back in any meditation or exercise was theirs alone. In this way,
participants were encouraged to ‘‘titrate’’ their own meditative experience and
related exposure to present-moment experiences. Second, positive growth awareness
was reinforced by techniques drawn from the field of positive psychology. These
efforts included building on strengths, acknowledging one’s efforts and expressing
gratitude for those efforts, encouraging a sense of connection to others in the class,
and cultivating compassion for self and others.

Teacher. The class was taught by a highly experienced MBSR teacher, who
received her training through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of
Massachusetts Medical School, and has been trained in MBCT and DBT. She has
been leading MBSR classes for over a decade and has had a personal meditation
practice for more than 20 years.

Statistical Considerations and Analysis

A sample size (n 5 27) was calculated assuming an alpha error of 0.05 and a
beta error of 0.20, estimating a 25% reduction in the BDI-II and accounting for a
15% noncompletion rate, using baseline means and standard deviations estimated
from the MBSR literature on depressed patients.
Outcomes of depressive, PTSD, and anxiety symptoms, and mindfulness were

assessed at baseline, 4, 8, and 24 weeks. Mean symptom scores, and mean change
from baseline, were estimated in repeated measures regression analyses as
implemented by the Mixed procedure in SAS (SAS Software Version 9.2, Cary,
NC, Copyright 2008).
The magnitude of treatment effect was evaluated by Cohen’s d effect size

(calculated as 2t/
p
df). The effect of treatment on PTSD symptoms was dismantled

further by estimating the mean symptom scores by PTSD criteria B, C, and D
(reexperiencing, avoidance/numbing, hyperarousal). The effect of the program on
prevalence of PTSD was assessed by a chi-square test of the number of participants
meeting criteria for PTSD, at the baseline and 8-week assessment, according to the
algorithm on the PCL (Blanchard et al., 1996). To avoid the departure of
participants influencing this frequency count, we used a dataset in which missing
values were imputed as last value carried for this analysis. The association between
home practice and psychological outcomes at 8 weeks was assessed. This was
evaluated in linear regression models, with change in psychological outcome from
baseline to 8 weeks as the dependent variable, and the sum of hours of each specific
practice, as well as the sum of all practice time, separately, as the independent
variables. Student’s t tests were used to evaluate mean baseline differences among
those who left the study and those who completed it. Analyses were carried out on an
intent-to-treat basis, with all available participant data included, regardless of
compliance to protocol (Rothman & Greenland, 1998). To evaluate the effect of
missing data, all models were re-run with imputation as last value carried forward.
The results obtained with imputed data were very similar to those with original data,
with the direction, magnitude, and statistical significance maintained for all main
study outcomes; given this, we elected to use the original data in the final analyses.
The exception to this was a frequency count of participants meeting criteria for
PTSD, as discussed above.

22 Journal of Clinical Psychology, January 2010

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

Results

Figure 1 depicts the CONSORT flowchart (Moher, Schulz, & Altman, 2001). One
hundred thirteen potential participants responded to advertisements and flyers and
received a telephone screen. Of these, 23 people were not interested after hearing
more about the study, and 51 were found to be ineligible because of scheduling issues
(n 5 6), excluded psychiatric conditions (n 5 12), not being in concurrent
psychotherapy (n 5 29), no history of sexual abuse (n 5 2), or therapist refusing to
provide recommendation (n 5 2). Thirty-nine potential participants attended the
baseline visit, with some found to be ineligible because of excluded psychiatric
condition (n 5 3) or insufficient psychological distress (raw GSIo0.50) (n 5 9). Thus,
27 people were eligible and invited to participate. One enrolled participant dropped
out of the study before the first MBSR class and did not return for further study
assessments. In Week 2, one participant was asked to leave because of an excluded
psychological condition not identified at baseline. A participant left the study in Week
2, saying she was too busy with family to do the home practice and feared possible
revival of distress relating to her abuse. A fourth participant left the study in Week 5,
after securing a new job that did not allow her to attend study sessions. Finally, two
participants declined to participate in the 24-week assessment. Thus, numbers of
participants and retention rates at the 4-week, 8-week, and 24-week visits were n 5 24
(89%), n 5 23 (85%), and n 5 21 (78%), respectively. That 85% of participants were

Figure 1. CONSORT diagram, Mindfulness Intervention for Child Abuse Survivors (n 5 27).

23Mindfulness Intervention for Child Abuse Survivors

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

assessed for the main outcome at 8 weeks suggests good retention in the study. There
were no significant differences between completers and noncompleters with respect to
mean baseline psychological outcomes (data not shown).
There were no study-related adverse events at the moderate or higher level

reported at any time.

Sample Characteristics

Baseline demographic and lifestyle characteristics are described in Table 1. Most of
the participants were female (89%), white (78%), married or living with partner
(52%), had a college degree or higher (59%), and had family incomes below $50,000
a year (52%). The mean age was 45 (range 23–68). Ten participants (37%) were
taking antidepressant medication, two were taking antianxiety medication (7%), and
six (22%) were taking both antidepressants and antianxiety medication. Three
participants were smokers (11%), and most (93%) reported none or moderate
alcohol consumption.

Study Outcomes

Mean depressive, PTSD, anxiety symptoms, and mindfulness scores at the BL,
4-week, 8-week, and 24-week visits are shown in Figure 2. PTSD symptom clusters
of criterion B, C, and D are shown in Figure 3.

Depression

At baseline, the mean BDI-II was 22.1 (standard error [SE] 5 1.8), suggesting a
moderate level of major depression (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996). This was reduced

Table 1
Baseline Characteristics Mindfulness Intervention for Child Abuse Survivors (n 5 27)

Demographics Mean SD

Age 44.9 10.8

Number %

Female 24 89

White 21 78

Married or living with partner 14 52

Annual household income o$50,000 14 52
College degree or higher 16 59

Psychotropic medications

Antidepressant only 10 37

Antianxiety only 2 7

Both antidepressant and antianxiety 6 22

Lifestyle

Smoker 3 11

r7 servings of alcohol in past week 25 93

Baseline psychological measures Mean SD

Depression 22.1 9.8

PTSD symptoms 46.8 14.1

Anxiety 1.7 0.9

Mindfulness 3.0 0.9

Note: PTSD 5 post-traumatic stress disorder.

24 Journal of Clinical Psychology, January 2010

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

(improved) to 13.7 (1.7) by 4 weeks. At the end of the 8-week intervention, mean
depressive symptoms were significantly reduced to 7.8 (1.3), a 65% reduction from
baseline. Although mean depressive symptoms at 24 weeks rose to 12.4 (2.2), the
improvement from baseline remained statistically significant. The rise in depressive
symptoms between 8 weeks and 24 weeks may have clinical implications, suggesting

Figure 2. Mean outcome by visit, mindfulness intervention for child abuse survivors (n 5 27).

Figure 3. PTSD symptom clusters, mindfulness intervention for child abuse survivors (n 5 27).

25Mindfulness Intervention for Child Abuse Survivors

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

that a strategy for maintenance of effects is required; this is a problem throughout
the behavior change literature. The effect size for depression was 1.8 at 8 weeks and
1.0 at 24 weeks (Depression model F 5 35.7, df 5 65, po0.0001).

Anxiety

The mean anxiety score of 1.7 (0.2) at baseline suggested a high level of distress
situated in the 68th percentile of adult nonpatient norms (Derogatis, 1993). At
4 weeks, anxiety decreased (improved) to 1.0 (0.1). By the end of the 8-week
intervention, the anxiety score was significantly reduced to 0.9 (0.1), a 47% reduction
from baseline. This represents distress at the 61st percentile of nonpatient norms, a
drop of 7 percentile points from baseline. The improvement in anxiety was sustained
until the 24-week assessment, with mean score 1.0 (0.2). The effect size for anxiety
was 1.1 at 8 weeks and 0.9 at 24 weeks (Anxiety model F 5 15.0, df 5 65, po0.0001).

Mindfulness

The mean MAAS at baseline of 3.0 (0.2) represents a score that is lower than has
been seen in normative data from community or chronic disease samples or in
previous studies (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Carlson & Brown, 2005; Pradhan et al.,
2007). By 4 weeks, the mean score improved to 3.5 (0.2). By the end of the 8-week
intervention, the mean mindfulness score was significantly improved to 4.0 (0.2), a
33% increase from baseline, representing a level more like that seen in
nonpsychiatric community populations (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Carlson & Brown,
2005). By 24 weeks, the mean MAAS score of 3.8 (0.2) reflected little change from
8 weeks. The effect size for mindfulness was 1.2 at 8 weeks and 1.0 at 24 weeks
(Mindfulness model F 5 15.0, df 5 65, po0.0001).

PTSD Symptoms

The mean PCL score at baseline was 46.8 (2.7). This level of symptoms is higher than
the cutoff PCL score of 44.0, found to have high sensitivity and specificity in
predicting PTSD when measured against the Clinician Administered PTSD scale
(Blanchard et al., 1996). By 4 weeks, the mean PCL score improved to 38.2 (2.3). By
the end of the 8-week intervention, the mean PCL score was significantly improved
to 32.3 (1.9), a 31% reduction from baseline. By 24 weeks, the mean rose slightly to
34.7 (3.2), although it remained significantly improved from baseline. The effect size
for the PCL was 1.2 at 8 weeks and 0.8 at 24 weeks (PCL model F 5 37.9, df 5 65,
po0.0001).

Meeting Criteria for PTSD

At baseline, using the algorithm on the PCL (Blanchard et al., 1996), 15 participants
at baseline met criteria for PTSD. Using a dataset with missing values imputed as
last value carried forward, this number was reduced to seven participants by the
8-week visit. This represents a 53% reduction in the number of participants meeting
criteria for PTSD post-MBSR class (w2 5 4.91, p 5 0.03). By 24 weeks, this number
rose to nine participants, with the change from baseline no longer significant
(chi-square 5 2.70, p 5 0.10; data not shown).

26 Journal of Clinical Psychology, January 2010

Journal of Clinical Psychology DOI: 10.1002/jclp

PTSD Symptom Clusters

Avoidance/numbing symptom score was higher at study start than either the
reexperiencing or hyperarousal symptom clusters. From 19.4 (1.0) at baseline, the
mean was reduced (improved) to 15.9 (1.1) at 4 weeks. By the end of the 8-week
intervention, mean avoidance/numbing was significantly reduced to 13.0 (0.7), or by
33%. At 24 weeks, the mean increased slightly to 14.0 (1.4), while remaining
significantly lower than baseline. The effect size for avoidance/numbing was 1.4 at 8
weeks and 0.9 at 24 weeks (Avoidance/numbing model F 5 47.7, df 5 65, po0.0001).
Reexperiencing symptom score was mean 13.1 (1.0) at baseline. This was reduced

to 11.0 (0.8) at 4 weeks. By the end of the 8-week intervention, the reexperiencing
symptoms score was significantly reduced to mean 10.0 (0.8). This level was
maintained at 24 weeks with mean 9.9 (0.9). The effect size for reexperiencing was 0.7
at 8 weeks and 0.7 at 24 weeks (Reexperiencing model F 5 9.7, df 5 65, po0.0001).
Hyperarousal symptom score was mean 14.3 (1.0) at baseline. By 4 weeks, the

mean score was reduced to 11.2 (0.8). By the end of the 8-week intervention, mean
hyperarousal symptoms were significantly improved to mean 9.5 (0.6). The mean
score rose slightly at 24 weeks to 10.8 (1.0), while remaining significantly reduced
from baseline. The effect size for hyperarousal was 1.2 at 8 weeks and 0.6 at 24 weeks
(Hyperarousal model F 5 22.2, df 5 65, po0.0001).

Class Attendance

Attendance at the nine sessions (eight classes and one full-day retreat) was high.
Mean …

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