The structure, correlates, and treatment related changes of mindfulness facets across the anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder

J Anxiety Disord. 2017 Jun;49:65-75. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2017.03.003. Epub 2017 Mar 14.


Research with non-clinical and clinical samples has examined how mindfulness concepts relate to psychological symptom presentations. However, there is less clarity when examining treatment-seeking patients who experience DSM-diagnosed anxiety and obsessional disorders - both cross-sectionally, and following empirically-supported treatments. The Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ; Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer, & Toney, 2006) conceptualizes mindfulness as consisting of five facets: Observing, Describing, Acting with Awareness, Nonreactivity, and Nonjudging. The current study examines the factor structure and predictive validity of the FFMQ in a large sample of treatment-seeking individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder with or without agoraphobia (PD/A), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) established that both four and five-factor models (i.e., with and without inclusion of the Observing factor) provided an acceptable representation of the underlying FFMQ structure, but did not support a one-factor solution. For each of these diagnostic groups, hierarchical regression analyses clarified the association between specific FFMQ facets and diagnosis specific symptom change during CBT treatment. These findings are discussed in the context of the possible transdiagnostic relevance of specific mindfulness facets, and how these facets are differentially associated with diagnosis specific symptom alleviation during CBT.

Keywords: Anxiety disorders; CBT; Measurement; Mindfulness; Moderators; OCD.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agoraphobia / therapy
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy*
  • Panic Disorder / therapy
  • Psychometrics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Self Report
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult