Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Psycho-social risk factors for Generalised Anxiety Disorder: an exploratory literature review of current knowledge; 2) Session-by-session outcome monitoring in CAMHS: Clinicians' beliefs; 3) Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy versus self-help for students with clinical perfectionism: a pilot randomised study.

  • Kirsty James

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Objective: This pilot study compared a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) intervention with a self-help guide based on a cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) approach for students with clinical perfectionism. Method: Participants were randomised to either MBCT or self-help. Questionnaires were completed at baseline, eight weeks later (the primary outcome point, corresponding to the end of MBCT) and at ten-week follow-up. Results: Post-intervention intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses identified that MBCT participants (n = 28) had significantly lower levels of unhealthy perfectionism and stress than self-help participants (n = 32). There was also significant MBCT superiority for changes in unhelpful beliefs about emotions, rumination, mindfulness, self-compassion and decentering. At ten-week follow-up, effects were maintained in the MBCT group and both ITT and completer (per-protocol) analyses showed superior MBCT outcomes for unhealthy perfectionism and daily impairment caused by perfectionism. Mediational analysis showed that pre-post changes in self-compassion mediated the group differences in pre-post changes in clinical perfectionism. Conclusions: MBCT is a promising intervention for students with clinical perfectionism, which may result in larger improvements than self-help. The findings require replication with a larger sample.
Date of Award1 Sept 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAilsa Russell (Supervisor)

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