Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Bryan Cochran

Commitee Members

Duncan Campbell, Jennifer Waltz, Steve Yoshimura


metacognitive awareness, mindfulness, treatment choice


University of Montana


Mindfulness-based treatments have demonstrated clinical utility with a variety of theoretical approaches for both physical illness (e.g. chronic pain) and psychological disorders, including anxiety (Baer, 2003; Shigaki, Glass, & Schopp, 2006). Responding to a lack of data regarding patient treatment preference generally (Spring, 2007), and preference for mindfulness-based treatment in particular, this study sought to examine factors related to patient choice in an analogue scenario. Method: Undergraduate students (121 male, 189 female, mean age = 19.6 years) watching a mental health professional on video were asked to imagine having a variety of anxiety symptoms described as either psychological or physical in nature. Participants then received descriptions of 3 treatment options [mindfulness-based treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and SSRI medication] and made a hypothetical treatment choice. Subsequently, they answered self-report measures of metacognitive awareness, openness to experience, inherent mindfulness, experiential avoidance, religiosity, and anxiety. Hypotheses: The description of anxiety (H1) and individual characteristics mentioned above (H2) were expected to be related to participants’ likelihood of engaging in a mindfulness-based treatment. Results: The description of anxiety as psychological was associated with a higher rate of individuals preferring a mindfulness-based treatment (÷2 = 5.06, p = .024). Also, metacognitive awareness and openness to experience appear to be predictive of increased willingness to choose a mindfulness-based treatment (â = .245, p < .001; â = .246, p < .001, respectively). Discussion: Perceptions of anxiety’s etiology, as well as individual characteristics, may impact an individual’s treatment preference.

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