The acceptability and effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in adults with acquired brain injury




Marson, Anna

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The evidence base for Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is growing, but there is a lack of experimental validation among populations with acquired brain injuries (ABI). The purpose of this study was to investigate the acceptability and effectiveness of MBCT in fostering psychological recovery among adults with ABI. More specifically, this study was conducted to:(a) extend Finucane and Mercer’s (2006) study by applying MBCT to another population (i.e., adults with ABI); (b) corroborate the Bedard et al. (2008) finding of MBCT’s effectiveness in reducing depression in adults with TBI; (c) establish if empirical findings of the effectiveness of MBCT on depression and anxiety in the general population and in primary care patients with active symptoms of depression and anxiety extended to adults with ABI; and (d) explore the effect of MBCT treatment on measures of locus of control, satisfaction with life, self-awareness, and coping in adults with ABI. A mixed methods design was used and participants were recruited from two community-based brain injury programs. The final sample comprised 12 adults with mild, moderate, and severe injuries. Interview and self-report measures were administered pre- and post-treatment. Qualitative data were collected through semi-structured focus groups following MBCT treatment. Depression, denial, and self-awareness among participants showed statistically significant improvements and participants’ demonstrated statistically significant increases in positive reframing and active coping. Focus group data confirmed MBCT as an acceptable and effective approach for adults with ABI, and also speak to implications for the use of MBCT in ABI populations specifically. The need for a larger replication study with a control group is discussed.



MBCT, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, mindfulness, acquired brain injury, depression, anxiety, locus of control, self-awareness, satisfaction with life, coping