Low mindfulness trait associated with high perceived stress equally by methadone maintenance treatment patients and medical students

Ariel Claman, Miriam Adelson, Anat Sason, Gabriel Barkay, Einat Peles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: A poor mindfulness trait was reported in some studies among different types of individuals with substance use disorders; however, specific scores of patients in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) have never been delineated. Aims: To study whether MMT patients have poor mindfulness, and may benefit from mindfulness-based interventions, a mindfulness trait and perceived stress were compared between MMT patients and two control groups. Methods: Perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale, PSS) and the mindfulness trait (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, FFMQ) were assessed among 41 MMT patients and two additional groups that served as reference groups, 36 medical students (known to suffer from stress), and 27 patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD, known to be characterized by having a poor mindfulness trait). Results: High perceived stress levels (PSS ≥18, median) were present among 61% of the MMT patients and 50% of the medical students. The highest mindfulness score was observed among non-stressed MMT patients (153.5±17.2), followed by the stressed MMT patients and the non-stressed students (128.9±17.0 and 130.5±13.3, respectively), with the lowest score for stressed students (116.3±17.9). The PSS score and the mindfulness score were inversely correlated (R=-0.65, p < 0.0005). The BPD individuals had the lowest mindfulness score (103.4±25.3). Conclusions: MMT patients as a whole have a high mindfulness trait. A high prevalence of high perceived stress levels, as characterized by a poor mindfulness trait, was observed in both MMT patients and medical students, making them optimal candidates for mindfulness course interventions for reducing high perceived stress levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalHeroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems
Volume21
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Medical students
  • Methadone maintenance treatment
  • Mindfulness trait
  • Perceived stress

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