Distress Tolerance as a Moderator of Mindfulness-based Relapse Prevention Effects on Alcohol and Other Drug Use Outcomes
Hsu, Sharon Hsin
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Distress tolerance refers to the degree to which an individual is able to withstand negative psychological and/or physical states. Empirical literature has indicated that lower distress tolerance is associated with a number of negative alcohol and drug (AOD) use outcomes and psychopathology. Mindfulness meditation focuses on enhancing affect regulation, and may be particularly beneficial for individuals with lower distress tolerance. This secondary analysis tested whether distress tolerance for negative psychological states moderated treatment effects on AOD outcomes in an initial efficacy trial of mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP). It was hypothesized that participants with lower distress tolerance would report fewer AOD use days over the 4-month follow-up if they received MBRP versus treatment as usual (TAU). Participants (N =168) in the parent RCT were recruited from a private, nonprofit agency providing inpatient and outpatient care for individuals with AOD-use disorders. Assessments of 60-day frequency of AOD use, as measured by the Timeline Followback, were conducted at baseline, immediately postintervention, and 2 months and 4 months following the intervention. Distress tolerance, as measured by the Distress Tolerance Scale, was assessed at baseline. Findings confirmed the hypothesized time x treatment x distress tolerance interaction, and thereby indicated that participants with lower distress tolerance who received MBRP treatment versus TAU experienced a greater curvilinear decrease in AOD use days during the follow-up. Findings suggest that distress tolerance is a clinically relevant client characteristic to consider in matching participants to aftercare treatment and that MBRP may be particularly helpful for individuals with lower distress tolerance.
- Psychology