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Mindful Awareness in Body-Oriented Therapy for Women's Substance Abuse Treatment: A Feasibility Study

Principal Investigator:
Cynthia Price, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems

Date: May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2011
Sponsor: National Institute on Drug Abuse (5 R21 DA024771-02)
Categories: Clinical and Health Services

Other Investigators: Dennis M. Donovan, PhD (ADAI Director, Professor Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences)

Description: The broad, long-term objective of the current research is to improve substance abuse treatment for women through an innovative mind-body approach, 'Mindful Awareness in Body-Oriented Therapy' (MABT). The MABT approach is designed to enhance embodiment and to facilitate mindfulness through the combination of massage, body awareness exercises and the acquisition of mindfulness skills. The treatment goals of MABT include reduction of avoidant coping responses, increase of emotional-regulation, and decrease of trauma symptoms through access to and acceptance (vs. avoidance) of sensory and emotional experience. These are thought to be important for relapse prevention given the positive association between stress, negative affect and relapse; and risk of relapse associated with PTSD symptoms.

The specific aims of the research are to: 1) to examine feasibility of recruitment to and retention in MABT as an adjunct to substance abuse treatment, 2) describe intervention acceptability, and 3) compare the effect of body-oriented therapy vs. treatment-as-usual on reported days abstinent for substance use in order to estimate effect size. The trial will involve a two-group repeated measures design in which participants are assigned to either the Treatment-as- Usual comparison group or the MABT experimental group, also receiving usual care. Both conditions will be compared at baseline, post-intervention, and at six and nine month follow-up.

This study involves examination of the MABT intervention as a complement to treatment-as-usual within a comprehensive substance abuse treatment program for women. The research will contribute to a program of research in body-oriented therapy.

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