Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Shapiro Santa Clara University and Virginia Commonwealth University have studied mindfulness as a complementary treatment for adolescent psychiatric outpatients. Past research has shown that mindfulness-based treatment interventions may be effective for a range of mental and physical health disorders in adult populations, but little is known about the effectiveness of such interventions for treating adolescent conditions.
This randomized clinical trial was designed to assess the effect of the MBSR for adolescents between 14 and 18 years old, with heterogeneous diagnoses in an outpatient psychiatric facility. Relative to treatment-as-usual control participants, those receiving MBSR reported reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and somatic distress, as well as an increase in self-esteem and sleep quality. The MBSR group showed a higher percentage of diagnostic improvement over the five-month study period, and significant increases in global assessment of functioning scores relative to controls.