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The effect of brief mindfulness training on distress tolerance, heart rate variability and alcohol consumption

Irez, OD; (2016) The effect of brief mindfulness training on distress tolerance, heart rate variability and alcohol consumption. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines the effectiveness of brief experimental mindfulness training in reducing alcohol craving and consumption in relation to distress tolerance and heart rate variability (HRV) among harmful/hazardous drinkers. Part one presents a literature review examining the effects of mindfulness on HRV. The review of 16 studies concluded that mindfulness is associated with HRV and increased HRV in a high frequency range was observed in both healthy individuals and in patient groups. Methodological limitations of the current literature and recommendations for future research are discussed. Part two is an empirical study involving a randomized controlled design examining the effects of brief mindfulness training on distress tolerance, heart rate variability and alcohol consumption. The results indicated that there was a significant increase in HRV in the relaxation group but no significant change in the mindfulness group. Participants who had increased HRV consumed less alcohol immediately after training, but interestingly only the participants in the mindfulness group consumed less alcohol after seven days. The increase in distress tolerance was similar between groups. This paper is part of a joint theses project with another Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Shirley Serfaty (2016). Her study involved a cue reactivity procedure to examine the effects of mindfulness on craving and negative affect. Part three provides a critical appraisal of the empirical study. It discusses methodological issues such as challenges with developing mindfulness/relaxation scripts, choice of behavioural and physiological measures and maintaining superior follow up rates. It also includes a brief discussion of my interest in the field of mindfulness and my experiences of conducting this research.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The effect of brief mindfulness training on distress tolerance, heart rate variability and alcohol consumption
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1521083
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