A randomised controlled trial of a brief online mindfulness-based intervention in a non-clinical population: replication and extension

Cavanagh, K., Churchard, A., O'Hanlon, P., Mundy, T., Votolato, P., Jones, F. W., Gu, J. and Strauss, C. (2018) A randomised controlled trial of a brief online mindfulness-based intervention in a non-clinical population: replication and extension. Mindfulness. ISSN 1868-8527.

16892_CavanaghEtAl2108FINAL.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (530kB) | Preview


Building on previous research, this study compared the effects of two brief, online mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs; with and without formal meditation practice) and a no intervention control group in a non-clinical sample. One hundred and fifty-five university staff and students were randomly allocated to a 2-week, self-guided, online MBI with or without mindfulness meditation practice, or a wait list control. Measures of mindfulness, perceived stress, perseverative thinking and anxiety/depression symptoms within were administered before and after the intervention period. Intention to treat analysis identified significant differences between groups on change over time for all measured outcomes. Participation in the MBIs was associated with significant improvements in all measured domains (all ps < 0.05), with effect sizes in the small to medium range (0.25 to 0.37, 95% CIs 0.11 to 0.56). No significant changes on these measures were found for the control group. Change in perseverative thinking was found to mediate the relationship between condition and improvement on perceived stress and anxiety/ depression symptom outcomes. Contrary to our hypotheses, no differences between the intervention conditions were found.

Limitations of the study included reliance on self-report data, a relatively high attrition rate and absence of a longer-term follow-up.

This study provides evidence in support of the feasibility and effectiveness of brief, self-guided MBIs in a non-clinical population and suggests that reduced perseverative thinking may be a mechanism of change.

Our findings provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of a mindfulness psychoeducation condition, without an invitation to formal mindfulness meditation practice. Further research is needed to confirm and better understand these results and to test the potential of such interventions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open Access - This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mindfulness; meditation; mediation; e-mental health; internet intervention; self-help
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0467 Clinical psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology > Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Fergal W. Jones
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 11:37
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2018 00:02
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/16892

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00