Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Mindfulness-based interventions aim at promoting an intentional, non-judgemental attention to the present moment and have been shown to be helpful in preventing the reoccurrence of depression. Mobile communication technologies (such as short message service, SMS) can be used to maintain treatment gains and achieve long-term behaviour changes. Mindfulness-based interventions have rarely been studied in inpatient settings. Therefore, we have developed a low intensity program for psychiatric inpatients with depression which combines mindfulness exercises with SMS-assistance. The aim of this pilot study is to inform the planning of a full-scale trial and examine whether the study design is feasible, i.e. how many patients are willing to participate in the study, fill in the questionnaires, use the SMS-assistance and are satisfied with the intervention. Furthermore, we will examine the usability of the questionnaires.

Who can participate?
Adult inpatients of the Clinic of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy II (Guenzburg), Ulm University, with symptoms of depression. Participants should have a mobile phone and sufficient knowledge of the German language.

What does the study involve?
The intervention consists of two steps. First, in addition to standard inpatient care, participants will be invited to attend a group introduction to three mindfulness exercises during their hospital stay. Second, after discharge from hospital, participants will be randomly allocated to either receive the SMS-assistance or recieve no additional support. Over a period of four months after discharge, participants will be asked to report via SMS whenever they have practiced a mindfulness exercise, and in return receive reinforcing feedback. Assessment points are at study intake, at discharge from hospital and four-months follow-up.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Research indicates that mindfulness interventions can be helpful in preventing the reoccurrence of depression. SMS-interventions have been shown to support long term behaviour changes. Thus, possible benefits are a decreased risk of depressive relapse and an improvement of general well-being. Overall, negative outcomes are rarely reported. The mindfulness exercises are introduced during the inpatient stay of the patient. Therefore, any adverse reactions can immediately be responded to.

Where is the study run from?
Enrolment takes place at the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Guenzburg (lead centre MIND-S-study). Technical and methodological support is provided by the Center of Psychotherapy Research, University of Heidelberg.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study started in September 2013. Data acquisition will last approximately until the end of 2014

Who is funding the study?
"Innovationsfonds Medizin", a research fund provided by the Ministry of Science, Research and Art of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

Who is the main contact?
Dr Bernd Puschner

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Bernd Puschner


Contact details

Section Process-Outcome Research
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy II
Ulm University
Bezirkskrankenhaus Guenzburg
Ludwig-Heilmeyer-Str. 2

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

An SMS-assisted mindfulness-based intervention for relapse prevention in depression: a pilot randomized controlled trial



Study hypothesis

The study examines the feasibility of the study design and the intervention. Research questions are:
1. Feasibility of the study design in terms of recruitment, randomisation, retention, and usability of the measures.
2. Feasibility of the intervention in terms of adherence and acceptability.

Ethics approval

Ulm University Ethics Committee; 13/08/2013; ref. 231/13

Study design

Pilot study prospective single-center randomized controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet


Depressive symptoms, relapse prevention


1. During inpatient psychiatric treatment: Manualized group session introducing three mindfulness-based exercises (mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindfulness of the body). Study participants should attend the group at least once.
2. After discharge (t1) for participants allocated to intervention group: Assistance of mindfulness practice at home, using positive reinforcement via the mobile phone SMS-technology and weekly reminders (until 4-month follow-up, t2)

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Feasibility and acceptability of the study design and procedures:
1. Number of patients recruited (at study intake, t0) and randomized (at hospital discharge, t1), drop-out rates until follow up (four months after discharge, t2)
2. Homework compliance (questionnaire at t2)
3. Use of the SMS-assistance during the four months after hospital discharge (objective measure)
4. Satisfaction with the interventions (questionnaires at timepoints: t1, t2)

Secondary outcome measures

Usability of the selected questionnaires (measuring homework compliance, depressive symptoms etc), assessed at all measurement-points (t0-t2)

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Age: 18 to 75 years
2. Symptoms of depression during the current illness episode
3. Mobile phone

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Psychotic symptoms, or a history of schizophrenia
2. Current manic state
3. Acute risk of a dissociative crisis
4. Severe cognitive deficit/impairment
5. Persistent severe substance abuse
6. Acute risk of suicidality or self-harm
7. Insufficient command of the German language

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Ulm University

Sponsor information


The Ministry of Science, Research and Art of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany)

Sponsor details

Ministerium fuer Wissenschaft
Forschung und Kunst Baden-Wuerttemberg
Koenigstr. 46

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

The Ministry of Science, Research and Art of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) - Innovationsfonds Medizin - Kompetenzzentrum Praevention psychischer und psychosomatischer Stoerungen in der Arbeits- und Ausbildungswelt (PPAA)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2017 results in:

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

04/05/2017: Publication reference added.