The MAC-P program: A pilot study of a mindfulness and compassion program for youth with psychotic experiences

Tara Hickey, Barnaby Nelson, Joanne Enticott, Graham Meadows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the feasibility, acceptability and the potential clinical utility of a novel mindfulness and compassion program (MAC-P) designed for youth with a range of psychotic experiences. Method: A non-randomised, non-controlled prospective follow-up study was conducted. Eighteen participants who either met criteria for the ‘at risk mental state’ or were experiencing a psychotic episode or had a recent diagnosis of schizophrenia attended the 8-week program. Participants completed clinical assessments pre-treatment, post-treatment and at 6-week follow-up which measured a range of symptoms (psychosis, anxiety, depression and stress) and psychosocial outcomes. Results: Attendance and retention data indicated that MAC-P is a feasible and acceptable program. There was a large significant increase in self-compassion. Mindfulness demonstrated a positive change over time. There was a large significant effect on one subscale—acting with awareness. There were significant reductions in distress associated with psychotic experiences as well as anxiety, depression, stress and self-criticism. Significant improvements in functioning and insecure attachment styles were also found. Regression results demonstrated that self-compassion was associated with a number of these findings. Conclusion: The MAC-P for youth shows potential as a clinically effective intervention provided as an addition to treatment as usual for youth with psychotic experiences. A larger controlled study is needed to validate the effectiveness of this intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1326-1334
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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