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Behav Res Ther. 2013 May;51(4-5):185-96. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2013.01.003. Epub 2013 Jan 25.

Randomized clinical trial of adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction versus group cognitive behavioral therapy for heterogeneous anxiety disorders.

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Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, 345 UCB Muenzinger, Boulder, CO 80309-0345, USA.



To compare a mindfulness-based intervention with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for the group treatment of anxiety disorders.


One hundred five veterans (83% male, mean age=46 years, 30% minority) with one or more DSM-IV anxiety disorders began group treatment following randomization to adapted mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or CBT.


Both groups showed large and equivalent improvements on principal disorder severity thru 3-month follow up (ps<.001, d=-4.08 for adapted MBSR; d=-3.52 for CBT). CBT outperformed adapted MBSR on anxious arousal outcomes at follow up (p<.01, d=.49) whereas adapted MBSR reduced worry at a greater rate than CBT (p<.05, d=.64) and resulted in greater reduction of comorbid emotional disorders (p<.05, d=.49). The adapted MBSR group evidenced greater mood disorders and worry at Pre, however. Groups showed equivalent treatment credibility, therapist adherence and competency, and reliable improvement.


CBT and adapted MBSR were both effective at reducing principal diagnosis severity and somewhat effective at reducing self-reported anxiety symptoms within a complex sample. CBT was more effective at reducing anxious arousal, whereas adapted MBSR may be more effective at reducing worry and comorbid disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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