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Keywords:

  • mindfulness;
  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • acceptance;
  • depression;
  • meditation

Objective

To assess outcomes associated with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for veterans with PTSD.

Methods

Forty-seven veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD; 37 male, 32 Caucasian) were randomized to treatment as usual (TAU; n = 22), or MBSR plus TAU (n = 25). PTSD, depression, and mental health-related quality of life (HRQOL) were assessed at baseline, posttreatment, and 4-month follow-up. Standardized effect sizes and the proportion with clinically meaningful changes in outcomes were calculated.

Results

Intention-to-treat analyses found no reliable effects of MBSR on PTSD or depression. Mental HRQOL improved posttreatment but there was no reliable effect at 4 months. At 4-month follow-up, more veterans randomized to MBSR had clinically meaningful change in mental HRQOL, and in both mental HRQOL and PTSD symptoms. Completer analyses (≥ 4 classes attended) showed medium to large between group effect sizes for depression, mental HRQOL, and mindfulness skills.

Conclusions

Additional studies are warranted to assess MBSR for veterans with PTSD.