Mindfulness-based and acceptance-based programmes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: a study protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

BMJ Open. 2021 Jun 25;11(6):e050329. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050329.


Introduction: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) with exposure and response prevention is the recommended standard for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, a high proportion of patients refuse this treatment, do not respond or relapse shortly after treatment. Growing evidence suggests that mindfulness-based and acceptance-based programmes (MABPs) are an effective option for the treatment of OCD. This systematic review and meta-analysis will examine the effectiveness of MABPs in treating OCD. We also aimed to explore potential moderators of the programmes' effectiveness.

Methods and analysis: We will systematically search MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, PSYINDEX, Web of Science, CINAHL and Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (no language restrictions) for studies that evaluate the effect of MABPs on patients with OCD. We will conduct backward and forward citation searches of included studies and relevant reviews and contact corresponding authors. The primary outcome will be pre-post intervention change in symptom severity. A secondary outcome will be change in depressive symptoms. Two reviewers will independently screen the records, extract the data and rate the methodological quality of the studies. We will include both controlled and uncontrolled trials. Randomised controlled trials will be meta-analysed, separately assessing between-group effects. A second meta-analysis will assess the within-group effect of all eligible studies. We will explore moderators and sources of heterogeneity such as the specific programme, study design, changes in depressive symptoms, hours of guided treatment, control condition and prior therapy (eg, CBT) using metaregression and subgroup analyses. We will perform sensitivity analyses using follow-up data. A narrative synthesis will also be pursued. We will use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system to assess the quality of the evidence.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval is not required. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences.

Keywords: education & training (see medical education & training); mental health; psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Mindfulness*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder* / therapy
  • Research Design
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic