Submitted by: Kylie Wickham
Supervisor: Dr Bruno Cayoun
Co-supervisor: Associate Professor Greg Hannan
Institution: University of Tasmania, School of Psychology (MPsych research project)
This randomised controlled trial investigated the effectiveness of Mindfulness-integrated Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (MiCBT), compared to Treatment as Usual (TAU), as a treatment for alcohol and other drug (AOD) addiction. The research was conducted on site at Missiondale Recovery Centre, a specialised drug and alcohol relapse-prevention service in Tasmania, Australia, during 2010 – 2012.
Thirty-four participants completed the eight-week treatment period; and completed self-report questionnaires before beginning treatment, after completing the eight-week treatment period, and at six-month follow-up. The questionnaires measured:
levels of risky alcohol use;
severity of drug abuse;
severity of substance dependence;
symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress;
levels of mindfulness;
individuals’ beliefs about who or what is in control of their lives.
All participants showed improvement on these measures over time. Participants who received MiCBT exhibited greater improvement over time, in terms of decreases in scores on the Depression scale of the DASS-21, than participants who received TAU. Participants who received MiCBT also displayed lower levels of severity of dependence than those who received TAU, across all time points. Differences between groups on other measures failed to reach statistical significance, however an exploration of differences between groups in effect sizes for change over time revealed that MiCBT had an additional effect over and above the treatment effect achieved by TAU. It was concluded that MiCBT is a viable option for inclusion in AOD treatment programs.