Previous research has suggested Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) as being beneficial for people dealing with a variety of mental health issues in outpatient area.
A clinical trial was conducted with 200 psychiatric inpatients testing the efficacy of a specially designed 6-week MSC program compared with a control intervention of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). Each session lasted 75 min and took place once a week for each of the study groups. The primary end-point was the change in the self-compassion scale (SCS) total score from pre- to post treatment. Secondary end-points included changes in the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36), the Global Severity Index (GSI) of the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18), and subjective feeling of happiness (single item).
Of the 200 randomly assigned participants, the MSC group (M = 2.90, SD = 0.5) showed a significant improvement in SCS (F(1,198) = 25.57, p < .01, η2 = 0.11) after 6 weeks in comparison with the PMR group (M = 2.57, SD = 0.6, p > .05). Correspondingly, the MSC group stated a greater amount of happiness in comparison to the PMR group (p < .05). Furthermore, the GSI and SF-36 parameters improved in both study groups to the same extent during the 6-week treatment (p < .01).
These preliminary data suggest the clinical applicability of MSC in psychiatric patient groups, which merits further large-scale studies.