The Evidence Portal

Promoting Resilience in Self-Management (PRISM)

About the program

PRISM is a short-term, group-format intervention that teaches mindfulness skills to promote self-regulation for emotional distress and impulsivity. Two sets of session content have been developed for PRISM to teach mindfulness skills: ‘DBT Mindfulness’ and ‘Mindfulness & Coping’. DBT Mindfulness is informed by dialectical behaviour therapy and Mindfulness & Coping covers more generalised mindfulness content.

Who does it work for?

PRISM is designed for high school age students. Study participants were 17 years old on average and were recruited from a recovery high school for substance use and co-occurring disorders.

Most participants in both intervention and control groups were Caucasian / Non-Hispanic. Most participants in the intervention group had single parent guardianship and open cases with child protection services, unlike most control group participants who reported both parents as legal guardians and very few open cases with child protection services.

PRISM has only been evaluated in the USA. A quasi-experimental design study was conducted with 56 persons (27 in the intervention group and 29 in the control group).

PRISM has not been evaluated in Australia or with Aboriginal Australians.

What outcomes does it contribute to?

Positive outcomes:

  • PRISM participants’ measures of impulsivity decreased

No effect:

  • The program had no effect on participants’ emotional regulation
  • The program had no effect on participants’ levels of distress

How effective is it?

Overall, PRISM had mixed effects on client outcomes.

How strong is the evidence?

Mixed research evidence (with no adverse effects):

  • At least one high-quality randomised controlled trial (RCT)/quasi-experimental design (QED) study reports statistically significant positive effects for at least one outcome, AND
  • An equal number or more RCT/QED studies of similar size and quality show no observed effects than show statistically significant positive effects, AND
  • No RCT/QED studies show statistically significant adverse effects

How is it implemented?

PRISM is delivered in small groups of about 5 students once per week over a 6-week period.

Both sets of content had different mindfulness activities. An example activity from the DBT Mindfulness session content is the Wise Mind activity where participants identified the overlap between one's “reasonable mind” and “emotional mind”.

An example activity in the Mindfulness & Coping session content was a mindful observation of experience where participants were asked to take a raisin from a box, hold it in their palm and notice unique features, texture, sounds, smells and taste. Participants were then asked to notice any thoughts/physical awareness they had during the activity and discuss these in the group.

How much does it cost?

The costs for PRISM were not reported in the study.

Where does the evidence come from?

1 QED conducted in the USA with a sample of 56 young people (Russell, Hutchinson & Fusco 2019).

Further resources

Russell, BS, Hutchison, M, & Fusco, A 2019, ‘Emotion regulation outcomes and preliminary feasibility evidence from a mindfulness intervention for adolescent substance use’, Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, vol. 28, pp. 21-31, DOI 10.1080/1067828X.2018.1561577.

Last updated:

09 Dec 2022

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