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Feasibility, acceptability and preliminary outcomes of a mindfulness-based relapse prevention program in a naturalistic setting among treatment-seeking patients with alcohol use disorder: a prospective observational study
  1. Cora von Hammerstein1,2,
  2. Yasser Khazaal3,
  3. Mathilde Dupuis2,
  4. Henri-Jean Aubin1,
  5. Amine Benyamina1,
  6. Amandine Luquiens1,4,
  7. Lucia Romo2,5
  1. 1 Psychiatry and Addictology, University Paris-Saclay, University Paris-Sud, UVSQ, CESP, INSERM U 1178, APHP, Hopital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France
  2. 2 EA 4430 CLIPSYD, Universite Paris-Nanterre, Nanterre, France
  3. 3 Psychiatry, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland
  4. 4 CMAP, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau Cedex, France
  5. 5 Centre Hospitalier Sainte Anne, Inserm, U894, Center for Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cora von Hammerstein; hammersteincf{at}


Objectives Cultural differences between the USA and France led us to examine the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy data on craving, quality of life and psychological flexibility of the add-on Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) programme in alcohol use disorder (AUD) in France.

Design We conducted a prospective observational study with a 6-month follow-up.

Setting The study was performed in a naturalistic setting with adult outpatients from an addiction department.

Participants We included all patients with a current AUD who participated in the MBRP programme (n=52). There was no non-inclusion criterion.

Interventions The intervention was an 8-week MBRP programme, combining elements of traditional relapse prevention cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness meditation training. This was an eight-session closed-group programme.

Primary and secondary outcome measures Primary outcomes were the number of attended treatment sessions, home practice frequency and dropout rate. Secondary outcomes were changes in craving, quality of life, psychological flexibility, drinking outcomes, depression, anxiety and mindfulness levels.

Results The average number of completed sessions was 6.6 (SD: 1.9). Most participants introduced mindfulness meditation into their everyday lives: 69% and 49% of included patients maintained formal practice at 3 and 6 months, respectively, and 80% and 64% maintained informal practice at 3 and 6 months, respectively. Most participants used mindfulness techniques to face high-risk situations (56% at 6 months). Participants reported a significant reduction in craving, days of alcohol use, depression and anxiety and an increase in mindfulness and psychological flexibility at 6 months.

Conclusions The MBRP programme showed good acceptability and feasibility. MBRP seemed to improve craving, mindfulness and psychological flexibility. Comparative studies are needed to evaluate the programme’s efficacy in AUD.

Trial registration number 2200863 v 0.

  • mindfulness
  • alcohol use disorder acceptability
  • relapse prevention
  • MBRP
  • craving

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  • Contributors CvH and AL participated to the protocol writing, conduction of study, statistical analysis, results interpretation and manuscript writing. LR and YK participated to the protocol writing, statistical analysis, results interpretation and manuscript writing. MD, H-JA and AB participated to conduction of study, results interpretation and manuscript writing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer All authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript being submitted. They warrant that the article is the authors' original work, has not received prior publication and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

  • Competing interests H-JA has received sponsorship to attend scientific meetings, speaker honoraria and consultancy fees from Bioprojet, D&A Pharma, Ethypharm, Lundbeck, Merck-Serono, Mundipharma, Novartis and Pfizer. LR has received sponsorship to participate in scientific reaserch funded by PMU and FDJ through a convention with the University Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense. AB has received sponsorship to attend scientific meetings, speaker honoraria and consultancy fees from Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Lundbeck, Merck-Serono and Mylan and is member of the invidor board. AL has received sponsorship to attend scientific meetings, speaker honoraria and consultancy fees from Lundbeck and Indivior.

  • Ethics approval This study was declared to the French national committee for informatics and liberty “CNIL” (number 2200863 v 0).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The proposed research includes data from 52 subjects. The dataset includes self-reported demographic and behavioral data from interviews and self-assessment, part of the medical register and collected in routine care. We could share disidentified data and only with the authorisation of the CNIL (National Commission for Information Technology and Rights).

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.