Maintaining Treatment Fidelity of Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention Intervention for Alcohol Dependence: A Randomized Controlled Trial Experience

Aleksandra E. Zgierska, Joshua Shapiro, Cindy A. Burzinski, Faith Lerner, Victoria Goodman-Strenski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Background. Treatment fidelity is essential to methodological rigor of clinical trials evaluating behavioral interventions such as Mindfulness Meditation (MM). However, procedures for monitoring and maintenance of treatment fidelity are inconsistently applied, limiting the strength of such research. Objective. To describe the implementation and findings related to fidelity monitoring of the Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Alcohol Dependence (MBRP-A) intervention in a 26-week randomized controlled trial. Methods. 123 alcohol dependent adults were randomly assigned to MM (MBRP-A and home practice, adjunctive to usual care; N=64) or control (usual care alone; N=59). Treatment fidelity assessment strategies recommended by the National Institutes of Health Behavior Change Consortium for study/intervention design, therapist training, intervention delivery, and treatment receipt and enactment were applied. Results. Ten 8-session interventions were delivered. Therapist adherence and competence, assessed using the modified MBRP Adherence and Competence Scale, were high. Among the MM group participants, 46 attended ≥4 sessions; over 90% reported at-home MM practice at 8 weeks and 72% at 26 weeks. They also reported satisfaction with and usefulness of MM for maintaining sobriety. No adverse events were reported. Conclusions. A systematic approach to assessment of treatment fidelity in behavioral clinical trials allows determination of the degree of consistency between intended and actual delivery and receipt of intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9716586
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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