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01-10-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 1/2021

Mindfulness 1/2021

Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) with Veterans: a Program Evaluation

Mindfulness > Uitgave 1/2021
John Greg Serpa, Christine P. Bourey, Ghislene N. Adjaoute, Jessica M. Pieczynski
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This pilot study explores the impact of Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) in veterans. Self-compassion, the capacity to hold one’s suffering with kindness and a wish to alleviate it, is associated with improvements in well-being. Veterans have more medical conditions than non-veterans and higher prevalence rates of severe pain. Acceptability of the intervention with veterans is assessed along with the impact of MSC on the physical, mental, and social health of the participants.


A racially diverse, predominantly male group of veterans (n = 80) were assessed pre- and post-MSC group with the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) to evaluate physical, mental, and social health. Measures of self-compassion, happiness, self-report medication usage, and a global assessment of improvement measure were also included. Qualitative responses to the MSC program were also solicited and reviewed.


Engagement with MSC was high (74% completion rate) and 96% of treatment completers rated their participation in the intervention as positive. Completers demonstrated small to medium effect size increases in self-compassion, happiness, and social role satisfaction, 95% CIs (− 6.13, − 2.65), (− 2.62, − 1.06), and (− 4.28, − 1.05), and decreases in depression, anxiety, fatigue, and pain interference, 95% CIs (0.44, 4.13), (0.57, 4.84), (0.43, 3.71), and (0.13, 2.70). In exploratory analyses related to pain, veterans taking pain medication reported a significant decrease in use (χ2(2, N = 47) = 24.30, p < .001).


These results are suggestive of the positive effects of the MSC intervention to veterans, but await a randomized controlled trial to establish its effectiveness in this population.

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