Formal mindfulness practice predicts reductions in PTSD symptom severity following a mindfulness-based intervention for women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorder

Abstract

Background

Women with co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD) experience systemic barriers that place them in danger of poorer treatment outcomes. Some mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have demonstrated efficacy in reducing PTSD and SUD symptoms. Mindfulness practice is a core component of MBIs, thought to elicit and maintain positive behavioral change; however, no research to our knowledge has assessed the role of mindfulness practice on sustained treatment gains among women with co-occurring PTSD-SUD. Such research is necessary to better inform MBIs for dually diagnosed women.

Methods

This secondary analysis assessed whether post-intervention formal and informal mindfulness practice predicted reductions in PTSD symptoms and substance craving 6 months following an 8-session mindfulness-based relapse prevention intervention for women diagnosed with co-occurring PTSD-SUD (N = 23). Data were derived from a pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a trauma-integrated mindfulness-based relapse prevention program for women with co-occurring PTSD-SUD.

Results

Greater duration of formal mindfulness practice (i.e., minutes per practice) predicted reduced total PTSD symptoms (ββ = − .670, p < .00), trauma-related avoidance (ββ = − .564, p = .01), arousal and reactivity (ββ = − .530, p = .02), and negative cognitions and mood (ββ = − .780, p < .01) six months following treatment. Informal practice did not predict any outcomes.

Conclusions

This research highlights the potential role of formal mindfulness practice in sustaining reductions in PTSD symptoms over time among women with co-occurring PTSD-SUD. Further study of strategies to promote ongoing formal mindfulness practice in this population following a MBI are warranted.

Trial registration The parent trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT03505749).

Citation
Somohano, V.C., Kaplan, J., Newman, A.G. et al. Formal mindfulness practice predicts reductions in PTSD symptom severity following a mindfulness-based intervention for women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorder. Addict Sci Clin Pract 17, 51 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-022-00333-2
Publication Date
Research Language

English

Country
United States