Posted 07.29.2020 | by AMRA
Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable mortality in the world. While smoking cessation programs are often initially effective, they tend to lose efficacy over time with 40%-70% of former smokers eventually relapsing. Smoking cessation maintenance programs aim to address the problems of urges to smoke and a decreased capacity for experiencing pleasure after quitting.
Mindfulness-based approaches focused on relapse prevention use meditation practices to help users experience urges without reaction and increase attentiveness to pleasurable experiences. Weiss de Souza et al. [Nicotine and Tobacco Research] tested whether an add-on Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) program increases the efficacy of a standard relapse prevention program in preventing smoking relapse.
The researchers randomized 86 Brazilian smokers (80% female; average age = 50 years) to standard relapse prevention treatment plus MBRP, or to the standard treatment alone. Both groups received four weeks of standard treatment, then half the group went on to receive an additional 8 weeks of MBRP. Standard treatment consisted of four 90-minute weekly group sessions and six maintenance sessions in weeks 6, 8, 10, 12, and 24. MBRP groups were conducted concurrently with the standard treatment maintenance groups.
Standard treatment focused on cognitive-behavioral strategies for coping with thoughts and situations that trigger relapse. Medication to reduce cravings (nicotine patches or gum, bupropion) was also provided. The 8-week MBRP program met for 2-hour weekly group sessions that included guided meditations, discussion, homework review, and encouragement for daily home practice.
Participants were assessed at baseline and at 1-month (after standard treatment), 3-month (after MBSR), and 6-month follow-ups for smoking abstinence assessed by exhaled carbon monoxide as well as self-report of cravings, mood, anxiety, depression, and mindfulness (Five Facet […]