A Qualitative Study of Use of Mindfulness to Reduce Long-Term Use of Habit-Forming Prescription Drugs

Frontiers in Psychiatry
Ingrid DundasSigne Hjelen Stige

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to study how participants used a mindfulness-based program-Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention to reduce use of habit-forming prescription drugs after long-term use. We explored participants' descriptions of their post-intervention strategies for controlling medication intake. Method: Eighteen participants provided semi-structured qualitative interviews shortly after completion of the program and 13 participants were also interviewed 1 year after completion. Participants were asked about the conditions that originally led to use of medication, how they had attempted prior to the course to cope with problems associated with these conditions and their prescription drug-use, and whether and how their coping strategies had changed after participation in the program. Thematic analysis was performed within the framework of a realist epistemology, with an emphasis on researcher reflexivity. Results: The following themes were identified in the material: Increased present-moment sensory awareness, Observing without controlling, Self-acceptance, Making conscious choices, Non-judgmental self-guidance, Sense of control, and Challenges of learning and using mindfulness. Although these findings are close...Continue Reading

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