The effectiveness of a mindfulness-based psychoeducation programme for emotional regulation in individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: A pilot randomised controlled trial

Angie Ho Yan Lam, Sau Fong Leung, Jessie Jingxia Lin, Wai Tong Chien

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Emotion dysregulation has emerged as a transdiagnostic factor that potentially exacerbates the risk of early-onset, maintenance, and relapse of psychosis. Mindfulness is described as the awareness that emerges from paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It gently pulls the mind out of the negative emotions induced by the disparity between expectation and reality by focusing on the present moment, instead of worrying about the future or regretting the past. However, only a few research has ever focused on the efficacy of using a mindfulness-based intervention to improve emotion regulation in schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a Mindfulness-Based Psychoeducation Programme (MBPP) on the emotion regulation of individuals with schizophrenia, in particular, to access emotion regulation strategies. The objective of this study was to find out whether MBPP is feasible for improving emotion regulation strategies, in terms of rumination, cognitive reappraisal, and expressive suppression, with a sustainable effect at a three-month follow-up. Patients and Methods: A single-blinded pilot randomised controlled trial with repeated-measures designs was adopted. Forty-six participants diagnosed with schizophrenia and its subtypes were randomised in either the 8-week mindfulness-based psychoeducation programme or treatment-as-usual (control) group. Results: The results of the Generalised Estimating Equations test indicated that the MBPP group showed a significant improvement in reappraisal at a three-month follow-up (β = −6.59, Wald’s χ2=4.55, p=0.033), and a significant reduction in rumination across time. However, the Generalised Estimating Equations indicated no significant difference in rumination and expressive suppression in the MBPP group. Two participants reported having unwanted experiences, including feelings of terror and distress during the mindfulness practice. Conclusion: The MBPP appeared to be effective for improving emotion regulation, which will contribute to future large-scale RCT to confirm the treatment effects in more diverse groups of schizophrenic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-747
Number of pages19
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Emotion regulation
  • Mindfulness
  • Reappraisal
  • Rumination
  • Schizophrenia
  • Suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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