, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 423–429 | Cite as

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention with Individuals Receiving Medication-Assisted Outpatient Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

  • Keith J. Zullig
  • Laura R. Lander
  • Samantha Sloan
  • Michael R. Brumage
  • Gerry R. Hobbs
  • Laurel Faulkenberry


The effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) in a naturalistic outpatient setting for those in recovery from opioid use disorder receiving medication-assisted treatment is unknown. The purpose of this pilot study was to test the effectiveness of MBRP in a naturalistic outpatient setting for those in recovery from opioid use disorder. Participants were recruited from a comprehensive opioid addiction treatment program who were in the intermediate stage of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) (at least 90 consecutive days substance free). Participants who completed the MBRP intervention served as their own controls [i.e., each participant participated in 8 weeks of treatment-as-usual (TAU) with MAT before the 8-week MBRP was initiated]. Pre/post-data analysis with study completers and non-completers (i.e., participants who did not complete the mindfulness intervention, but remained in TAU) was performed. Thirty-two participants were recruited (mean age, 36; range 21–47). No significant differences in baseline demographics were detected between the completers and non-completers. Analyses suggest significant reductions (p < 0.05) were observed in reported depression in completers compared to non-completers, and significant increases were observed in reported mindfulness (p < 0.05) in completers among those completed the MBRP intervention study phase. Trends in the hypothesized direction were also observed for anxiety (p = 0.17), but not for craving (p = 0.43). Although significant attrition was experienced, results suggest MBRP can be incorporated into a MAT in an outpatient setting, and significant positive findings were observed despite the small sample size. An unexpected finding was that patients in MAT still reported clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression that were not reduced in TAU.


Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Medication-assisted treatment Outpatient treatment Opioid use disorder 



Supported/provided by internal funding from West Virginia University Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry.

Author Contributions

KJZ led all aspects of the study, including writing of the article, and data analyses. LRL helped conceive the study, led study recruitment efforts, and provided input into the article. SS coordinated study recruitment and data collection efforts and provided input into the article. MRB co-led MBRP sessions with participants and edited and provided input into the article. GRH provided statistical support and input into the article. LF co-led MBRP sessions with participants and provided input into the article.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith J. Zullig
    • 1
  • Laura R. Lander
    • 2
  • Samantha Sloan
    • 3
  • Michael R. Brumage
    • 4
  • Gerry R. Hobbs
    • 5
  • Laurel Faulkenberry
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public HealthWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral Medicine and PsychiatrySchool of Medicine, West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  3. 3.CampobelloUSA
  4. 4.Kanawha-Charleston Health DepartmentCharlestonUSA
  5. 5.Department of StatisticsWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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