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Concept: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


Individuals with a history of recurrent depression have a high risk of repeated depressive relapse or recurrence. Maintenance antidepressants for at least 2 years is the current recommended treatment, but many individuals are interested in alternatives to medication. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has been shown to reduce risk of relapse or recurrence compared with usual care, but has not yet been compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in a definitive trial. We aimed to see whether MBCT with support to taper or discontinue antidepressant treatment (MBCT-TS) was superior to maintenance antidepressants for prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence over 24 months.

Concepts: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Bupropion, Sertraline, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) emphasize the importance of mindfulness practice at home as an integral part of the program. However, the extent to which participants complete their assigned practice is not yet clear, nor is it clear whether this practice is associated with positive outcomes. For this systematic review and meta-analysis, searches were performed using Scopus and PubMed for studies published through to the end of 2015, reporting on formal home practice of mindfulness by MBSR or MBCT participants. Across 43 studies (N = 1427), the pooled estimate for participants' home practice was 64% of the assigned amount, equating to about 30 minutes per day, six days per week [95% CI 60-69%]. There was substantial heterogeneity associated with this estimate. Across 28 studies (N = 898), there was a small but significant association between participants' self-reported home practice and intervention outcomes (r = 0·26, 95% CI 0·19,-0·34). MBSR and MBCT participants report completing substantial formal mindfulness practice at home over the eight-week intervention, albeit less than assigned amounts. There is a small but significant association between the extent of formal practice and positive intervention outcomes for a wide range of participants.

Concepts: Clinical psychology, Meta-analysis, Major depressive disorder, Cognitive therapy, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


BackgroundMindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and maintenance antidepressant medication (mADM) both reduce the risk of relapse in recurrent depression, but their combination has not been studied.AimsTo investigate whether MBCT with discontinuation of mADM is non-inferior to MBCT+mADM.MethodA multicentre randomised controlled non-inferiority trial ( NCT00928980). Adults with recurrent depression in remission, using mADM for 6 months or longer (n = 249), were randomly allocated to either discontinue (n = 128) or continue (n = 121) mADM after MBCT. The primary outcome was depressive relapse/recurrence within 15 months. A confidence interval approach with a margin of 25% was used to test non-inferiority. Key secondary outcomes were time to relapse/recurrence and depression severity.ResultsThe difference in relapse/recurrence rates exceeded the non-inferiority margin and time to relapse/recurrence was significantly shorter after discontinuation of mADM. There were only minor differences in depression severity.ConclusionsOur findings suggest an increased risk of relapse/recurrence in patients withdrawing from mADM after MBCT.

Concepts: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Bupropion, Sertraline, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


The investigation of treatment mechanisms in randomized controlled trials has considerable clinical and theoretical relevance. Despite the empirical support for the effect of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) in the treatment of recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD), the specific mechanisms by which MBCT leads to therapeutic change remain unclear.

Concepts: Medicine, Clinical trial, Randomized controlled trial, Clinical psychology, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Major depressive disorder, Cognitive therapy, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


In recent years, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments have increased in popularity. This is especially true for treatments that are related to exercise and mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in the treatment of both mental and physical illness. MBIs, such as Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which are derived from ancient Buddhist and Yoga philosophies, have become popular treatments in contemporary psychotherapy. While there is growing evidence that supports the role of these interventions in relapse prevention, little is known about the role that MBIs play in the treatment of acute symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even less is known about the importance of specific components of MBIs (eg, mindfulness meditation [MM]) and the overall impact that these interventions have on the experience or expression of psychological distress. Moreover, few studies have rigorously evaluated the dose-response relationship that is required to effect positive symptom change and the mechanisms of change that are responsible for observed improvements. This review will define meditation and mindfulness, discuss the relationship between stress and health and how MM relates to therapeutically engaging the relaxation response, and review the empirical findings that are related to the efficacy of MM in the treatment of depression and anxiety symptoms. Given the paucity of research that examines the applications of these treatments in clinical populations, the limitations of applying these findings to clinical samples will be mentioned. A brief review of the issues related to the possible mechanisms of change and the dose-response relationship regarding MBIs, particularly MM, will be provided. Finally, limitations of the extant literature and future directions for further exploration of this topic will be offered.

Concepts: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Alternative medicine, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Major depressive disorder, Psychotherapy, Cognitive therapy, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


We evaluated the comparative effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) versus an active control condition (ACC) for depression relapse prevention, depressive symptom reduction, and improvement in life satisfaction.

Concepts: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Bipolar disorder, Major depressive disorder, Dysthymia, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


Objective: We compared mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) with both cognitive psychological education (CPE) and treatment as usual (TAU) in preventing relapse to major depressive disorder (MDD) in people currently in remission following at least 3 previous episodes. Method: A randomized controlled trial in which 274 participants were allocated in the ratio 2:2:1 to MBCT plus TAU, CPE plus TAU, and TAU alone, and data were analyzed for the 255 (93%; MBCT = 99, CPE = 103, TAU = 53) retained to follow-up. MBCT was delivered in accordance with its published manual, modified to address suicidal cognitions; CPE was modeled on MBCT, but without training in meditation. Both treatments were delivered through 8 weekly classes. Results: Allocated treatment had no significant effect on risk of relapse to MDD over 12 months follow-up, hazard ratio for MBCT vs. CPE = 0.88, 95% CI [0.58, 1.35]; for MBCT vs. TAU = 0.69, 95% CI [0.42, 1.12]. However, severity of childhood trauma affected relapse, hazard ratio for increase of 1 standard deviation = 1.26 (95% CI [1.05, 1.50]), and significantly interacted with allocated treatment. Among participants above median severity, the hazard ratio was 0.61, 95% CI [0.34, 1.09], for MBCT vs. CPE, and 0.43, 95% CI [0.22, 0.87], for MBCT vs. TAU. For those below median severity, there were no such differences between treatment groups. Conclusion: MBCT provided significant protection against relapse for participants with increased vulnerability due to history of childhood trauma, but showed no significant advantage in comparison to an active control treatment and usual care over the whole group of patients with recurrent depression. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Clinical psychology, Standard deviation, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Major depressive disorder, Cognitive therapy, Suicide, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


The number of acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions for chronic pain, such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), increased in recent years. Therefore an update is warranted of our former systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that reported effects on the mental and physical health of chronic pain patients. Pubmed, EMBASE, PsycInfo and Cochrane were searched for eligible studies. Current meta-analysis only included randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Studies were rated for quality. Mean quality did not improve in recent years. Pooled standardized mean differences using the random-effect model were calculated to represent the average intervention effect and, to perform subgroup analyses. Outcome measures were pain intensity, depression, anxiety, pain interference, disability and quality of life. Included were twenty-five RCTs totaling 1285 patients with chronic pain, in which we compared acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions to the waitlist, (medical) treatment-as-usual, and education or support control groups. Effect sizes ranged from small (on all outcome measures except anxiety and pain interference) to moderate (on anxiety and pain interference) at post-treatment and from small (on pain intensity and disability) to large (on pain interference) at follow-up. ACT showed significantly higher effects on depression and anxiety than MBSR and MBCT. Studies' quality, attrition rate, type of pain and control group, did not moderate the effects of acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions. Current acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions, while not superior to traditional cognitive behavioral treatments, can be good alternatives.

Concepts: Evidence-based medicine, Randomized controlled trial, Clinical psychology, Meta-analysis, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Major depressive disorder, Cognitive therapy, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


Given the extensive evidence base for the efficacy of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), researchers have started to explore the mechanisms underlying their therapeutic effects on psychological outcomes, using methods of mediation analysis. No known studies have systematically reviewed and statistically integrated mediation studies in this field. The present study aimed to systematically review mediation studies in the literature on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), to identify potential psychological mechanisms underlying MBCT and MBSR’s effects on psychological functioning and wellbeing, and evaluate the strength and consistency of evidence for each mechanism. For the identified mechanisms with sufficient evidence, quantitative synthesis using two-stage meta-analytic structural equation modelling (TSSEM) was used to examine whether these mechanisms mediate the impact of MBIs on clinical outcomes. This review identified strong, consistent evidence for cognitive and emotional reactivity, moderate and consistent evidence for mindfulness, rumination, and worry, and preliminary but insufficient evidence for self-compassion and psychological flexibility as mechanisms underlying MBIs. TSSEM demonstrated evidence for mindfulness, rumination and worry as significant mediators of the effects of MBIs on mental health outcomes. Most reviewed mediation studies have several key methodological shortcomings which preclude robust conclusions regarding mediation. However, they provide important groundwork on which future studies could build.

Concepts: Psychology, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Clinical psychology, Meta-analysis, Major depressive disorder, Cognitive therapy, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic gastrointestinal condition with a relapsing disease course. Managing the relapsing nature of the disease causes daily stress for IBD patients; thus, IBD patients report higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based psychological program designed to help manage depressive and stress symptoms. There has been no randomized controlled trial (RCT) testing the use of MBCT in IBD patients. The purpose of this pilot study is to test the trial methodology and assess the feasibility of conducting a large RCT testing the effectiveness of MBCT in IBD.

Concepts: Psychology, Epidemiology, Randomized controlled trial, Gastroenterology, Inflammatory bowel disease, Clinical psychology, Major depressive disorder, Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy