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Trials. 2017 May 25;18(1):233. doi: 10.1186/s13063-017-1967-7.

The effect of a mindfulness-based intervention in cognitive functions and psychological well-being applied as an early intervention in schizophrenia and high-risk mental state in a Chilean sample: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

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Escuela de Psicología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja s/n., Valdivia, Chile.
Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on the Nervous System (CISNe), Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.
Instituto Milenio para la Investigación en Depresión y Personalidad, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Macul, Santiago, Chile.
Escuela de Psicología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja s/n., Valdivia, Chile.
Clínica Psiquiátrica Universitaria, Hospital Clínico y Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Recoleta, Santiago, RM, Chile.
Biomedical Neuroscience Institute, Independencia, Santiago, Chile.
Escuela de Psicología, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Diagonal Las Torres 2640, Santiago, Chile.
Instituto de Neurociencias Clínicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja s/n., Valdivia, Chile.
Red de Salud Mental REDGESAM, Santiago, Chile.
Servicio de Psiquiatría Hospital del Pino, San Bernardo, Santiago, Chile.
Consulta Privada, Santiago, Chile.
Departamento de Neurociencias, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.



According to the projections of the World Health Organization, 15% of all disabilities will be associated with mental illnesses by 2020. One of the mental disorders with the largest social impacts due to high personal and family costs is psychosis. Among the most effective psychological approaches to treat schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders at the world level is cognitive behavioral therapy. Recently, cognitive behavioral therapy has introduced several tools and strategies that promote psychological processes based on acceptance and mindfulness. A large number of studies support the effectiveness of mindfulness in dealing with various mental health problems, including psychosis. This study is aimed at determining the efficiency of a mindfulness-based program in increasing cognitive function and psychological well-being in patients with a first episode of schizophrenia and a high risk mental state (those at risk of developing an episode of psychosis).


This is an experimentally designed, multi-center randomized controlled trial, with a 3-month follow-up period. The study participants will be 48 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (first episode) and 48 with a high-risk mental state, from Santiago, Chile, aged between 15 and 35 years. Participants will be submitted to a mindfulness-based intervention (MBI), which will involve taking part in eight mindfulness workshops adapted for people with psychosis. Workshops will last approximately 1.5 hours and take place once a week, over 8 weeks. The primary outcome will be the cognitive function through Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) and the secondary outcome will be psychological well-being measured by self-reporting questionnaires.


The outcomes of this trial will add empirical evidence to the benefits and feasibility of MBIs for the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients with schizophrenia and high-risk mental states in reducing cognitive impairment in attention, working memory, and social cognition, as well as increasing the psychological well-being by empowering the patients' personal resources in the management of their own symptoms and psychotic experiences.


ISRCTN registration number ISRCTN24327446 . Registered on 12 September 2016.


Cognitive functions; High-risk mental state; Mindfulness; Psychological well-being; Schizophrenia

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