Partial efficacy of Vipassana mindfulness approach in alcohol-dependent persons

Nualnong Wongtongkam, Seearoon Lampoo, Puthawan Choocherd, Suwanna Chiangkuntod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcohol-dependent persons who drink to manage negative emotions are likely to become lifetime drinkers. The study aimed at assessing the effectiveness of Vipassana mindfulness on alcohol intake, depression, and empathetic responses at a rehabilitation center. Mixed methods were employed, with a battery of self-report instruments (depression, cognitive, and daily drinking) and a focus group interview. There were 23 alcohol-dependent males in the intervention group and 22 in the control group. Participants completed questionnaires one week before and one month after intervention, and a focus group was held with 15 intervention participants at one month
follow-up. The intervention consisted of 2 hours a day of sitting and walking with Vipassana mindfulness for 5 consecutive days. At pretest, intervention and control groups had similar scores on demographic, alcohol intake, and depression variables. When comparing pre- and posttest scores within each group, the intervention group had lower cognitive and total depression scores postintervention, but the difference was not significant. In the focus group, participants said they had no time to practice mindfulness regularly, which may have been a reason for only gaining partial benefits from Vipassana mindfulness. Additionally, participants’ previous mindfulness experiences
may have limited the success of the mindfulness approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number1
Early online date23 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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