Objective: Mindfulness-oriented therapies have a positive impact on patients' overall well-being and alleviate many psychiatric conditions. However, little is known about their use in people with severe mental illness. We aimed to identify which clinical and sociodemographic factors are associated with suitability/tolerability of a brief group mindfulness-oriented therapy.
Methods: This retrospective study examines pre-/post-data from 40 psychiatric inpatients who underwent one session of a 10-min mindfulness-oriented group intervention between January and March 2014. The main outcome was 'suitability for and tolerating the brief mindfulness-oriented group intervention'. We assessed potential correlates of the main outcome, including female gender, shorter hospitalisation, the absence of psychosis and good pre-morbid functioning.
Results: The intervention was well tolerated (92.5%) and 50% of patients met both of our relatively stringent suitability and tolerability criteria. Sociodemographic and clinical variables were not associated with suitability/tolerability. Tai chi was the most suitable/tolerable compared to body scan and mindful eating (76.5% vs. 35.7% vs. 22.2%, Fisher's exact p = 0.01, Bonferroni p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Brief group mindfulness therapy interventions are very well tolerated and often suitable for acutely hospitalised psychiatric inpatients, including those with acute psychosis. Mindfulness-oriented intervention with an active component (e.g., tai chi, mindful walking) may potentially be best suited for this population.
Keywords: Inpatients; mindfulness; psychiatry; psychotherapy; severe mental illness; suitability.