Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation Versus ACT in Anxiety (MER-ACT)

  • End date
    Sep 26, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Hospital Universitario La Paz
Updated on 26 March 2022


Background: There is a paucity of randomized clinical trials which address the relationship between training in mindfulness and neuropsychological outcomes. Also, how psychotherapeutic interventions were delivered before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and its possible differential results need more scientific attention.

Aims: To compare the effectiveness of an intervention based on the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) versus a Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation (MER) intervention among adult patients with anxiety disorders.

Methods: This randomized, single-blind, clinical trial is being conducted in a community Mental Health Unit (Colmenar Viejo, Madrid) in Spain. Potential outpatients will be over 18 years (until 75 years) with some type of specific or unspecified anxiety disorder. They will be assessed for inclusion/exclusion criteria and randomized according to the score on the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (used as a blocking factor). One of the interventions was adapted from the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for anxiety disorders and MER was based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. Each intervention has been designed to be weekly, during 8 weeks, guided by two Clinical Psychology residents. Interventions have been delivered face-to-face before the COVID-19 pandemic, or via online currently. A 2x3 mixed-factorial ANOVA (intervention type x pre-treatment, post-treatment and 6-month follow-up) will be conducted, with Sidak-correction post hoc tests. The primary measures are the TMT score (A and B forms), Stroop test, Digit span subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, version IV (Forward, Backward and Sequencing subtests), Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II, and Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 (ASI-3). Secondary measures are the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20-item (TAS-20), Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ-8), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the World Health Organization's Quality of Life Questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF). Norms based on the Spanish general population will be used.

Results: This clinical trial started in February 2019 and it is expected to end in September 2023. The minimum sample size required is 128 participants (64 each intervention) to achieve medium effect sizes on primary outcomes (alfa = .05 and beta = .20). So far, 107 adult patients with anxiety disorders participated (64 participants in face-to-face interventions before the COVID-19 pandemic; and 43 participants via online, during the pandemic).

Conclusions: This is the first study to compare two mindfulness-based interventions on several neurocognitive functions and other psychological domains among adult patients with anxiety disorders.

Condition Anxiety
Treatment Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-based Emotional Regulation (MER)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05204264
SponsorHospital Universitario La Paz
Last Modified on26 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Spanish as mother tongue or a very high level in Spanish to understand the patient information sheet, the informed consent, as well as being able to follow the group intervention sessions and the homework
Diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, avoidant personality disorder, adjustment disorders with anxious/anxious-depressive symptomatology, as well as unspecified anxiety disorders

Exclusion Criteria

Continuing individual psychotherapeutic treatment from the beginning of the group intervention until the end of it
Other diagnoses of severe mental disorder; cluster A or B personality disorders; and/or substance use disorder in the past 6 months
Diagnosis of intellectual disability, mild cognitive impairment or dementia
Changes in psychopharmacological treatment (in active ingredient or doses) in the month before each intervention
Diagnosis of uncontrolled or non-stabilized organic disease
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note