Mindfulness-based behaviour therapy for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A study to explore whether mindfulness-based exposure and response prevention (ERP) is more effective than ERP on its own, and whether it has lower drop-out rates.

The BeMind study secured approximately £100,000 of research for patient benefit funding for a 19 month study to evaluate mindfulness-based behaviour therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The study recruited in our OCD clinic at Health in Mind in East Sussex and in the Wellbeing Service in Brighton and Hove.

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a well-established and effective behaviour therapy for OCD and it is the psychological therapy recommended by NICE for OCD. However, around half of people with OCD do not benefit from ERP. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have good evidence for effectiveness for a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, but evidence is lacking for OCD. However, there are good reasons why a mindfulness-based approach might be helpful for OCD and people with lived experience of OCD contributed to the design of this study and will meet to oversee the study whilst it is running.

The study team wanted to see whether mindfulness-based ERP is more effective than ERP on its own and whether it has lower drop-out rates than standard ERP. BeMind is a randomised controlled study that compared ERP with mindfulness-based ERP, with both therapies offered in a group format. The study recruited 38 adults with OCD and participants were allocated at random to either a ten-session ERP group or to a ten-session mindfulness-based ERP group. Assessments took place before the therapy started, immediately after the therapy and again six months later. This study will help us to find out if adding a mindfulness-based approach to ERP appears to be helpful. 

This study has now ended and findings have been publised below.

Strauss, C. Rosten, C., Hayward, M., Lea, L., Forrester, E. & Jones A. M. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Exposure and Response Prevention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16, 167