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J Trauma Dissociation. 2016 May-Jun;17(3):294-306. doi: 10.1080/15299732.2015.1085480. Epub 2015 Nov 5.

Dissociation and mindfulness in patients with auditory verbal hallucinations.

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a University Hospital Virgen del Rocío , Seville , Spain.
b Department of Experimental Psychology , University of Seville , Seville , Spain.
c Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment Department , University of Seville , Seville , Spain.


The very few studies relating mindfulness and dissociation have found a negative association between them (depersonalization and absorption). However, all of these studies have been done in nonclinical populations, and there are no data on the relationship between these variables in psychiatric patients with auditory hallucinations. This study was designed to study the relationship between mindfulness and the two dissociative variables, absorption and depersonalization, as well as their predictive power for the severity of auditory hallucinations and the distress they cause in a clinical population. A total of 55 psychiatric patients with hallucinations were given the following tests: the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (K. Brown & R. Ryan, 2003), the Tellegen Absorption Scale (A. Tellegen & G. Atkinson, 1974), the Cambridge Depersonalization Scale (M. Sierra & G. E. Berrios, 2000), the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (G. Haddock, J. McCarron, N. Tarrier, & E. B. Faragher, 1999), and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (S. R. Kay, L. A. Opler, & J.-P. Lindenmayer, 1988). A significant negative correlation was found between mindfulness and the dissociative variables and between mindfulness and the distress caused by the hallucinations. A positive correlation was found between absorption and distress caused by hallucinations and between depersonalization and the severity of hallucinations. Finally, the variable with the most predictive power for severity of the voices was depersonalization, and the variable with the most predictive power for distress caused by the voices was mindfulness. Interventions addressing training in mindfulness techniques could diminish the distress associated with hearing voices.


Absorption; auditory verbal hallucinations; depersonalization; dissociation; mindfulness; psychosis

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