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Depressive symptoms are commonly reported by individuals suffering from a chronic medical condition. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has been shown to be an effective psychological intervention for reducing depressive symptoms in a range of populations. MBCT is traditionally given in a group format. The aim of the current pilot RCT was to examine the effects of group-based MBCT and individually based MBCT for reducing depressive symptoms in adults suffering from one or more somatic diseases. In this study, 56 people with a somatic condition and comorbid depressive symptoms (i.e., Beck Depression Inventory-II [BDI-II] ≥14) were randomized to group MBCT (n = 28) or individual MBCT (n = 28). Patients filled out questionnaires at three points in time (i.e., pre-intervention, post-intervention, 3 months follow-up). Primary outcome measure was severity of depressive symptoms. Anxiety and positive well-being as well as mindfulness and self-compassion were also assessed. We found significant improvements in all outcomes in those receiving group or individual MBCT, with no significant differences between the two conditions regarding these improvements. Although preliminary (given the pilot nature and lack of control group), results suggest that both group MBCT and individual MBCT are associated with improvements in psychological well-being and enhanced skills of mindfulness and self-compassion in individuals with a chronic somatic condition and comorbid depressive symptoms. Our findings merit future non-inferiority trials in larger samples to be able to draw more firm conclusions about the effectiveness of both formats of MBCT.
OBJECTIVE Depression is a common comorbidity of diabetes, undesirably affecting patients’ physical and mental functioning. Psychological interventions are effective treatments for depression in the general population as well as in patients with a chronic disease. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of individual mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and individual cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in comparison with a waiting-list control condition for treating depressive symptoms in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In this randomized controlled trial, 94 outpatients with diabetes and comorbid depressive symptoms (i.e., Beck Depression Inventory-II [BDI-II] ≥14) were randomized to MBCT (n = 31), CBT (n = 32), or waiting list (n = 31). All participants completed written questionnaires and interviews at pre- and postmeasurement (3 months later). Primary outcome measure was severity of depressive symptoms (BDI-II and Toronto Hamilton Depression Rating Scale). Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7), well-being (Well-Being Index), diabetes-related distress (Problem Areas In Diabetes), and HbA1c levels were assessed as secondary outcomes. RESULTS Results showed that participants receiving MBCT and CBT reported significantly greater reductions in depressive symptoms compared with patients in the waiting-list control condition (respectively, P = 0.004 and P < 0.001; d = 0.80 and 1.00; clinically relevant improvement 26% and 29% vs. 4%). Both interventions also had significant positive effects on anxiety, well-being, and diabetes-related distress. No significant effect was found on HbA1c values. CONCLUSIONS Both individual MBCT and CBT are effective in improving a range of psychological symptoms in individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
We developed a novel compassion-focused training (mindfulness-based compassionate living; MBCL) and examined its effects in a heterogeneous psychiatric outpatient population with regard to feasibility and changes in levels of depression, anxiety, mindfulness and compassion. The training consisted of nine weekly 2.5-h sessions. Thirty-three patients, who had followed a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program or a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) program beforehand, participated in the study (mean age 48.1 years; 82 % female). Participants completed self-report questionnaires before and directly after the MBCL training. Levels of depression, but not of anxiety, reduced, and levels of mindfulness and self-compassion increased. Serious limitations of this study are the small sample size, the lack of a control group and the fact that about half of the participants did not complete the posttraining questionnaires. However, we determined that it is feasible to conduct further research on this novel MBCL training program as a basis for more robust empirical investigation in the future, more specifically examining the effects of MBCL and preferably also the underlying working mechanisms.
This study examined whether patients’ expectations of treatment outcome predict treatment completion, homework compliance, and depressive symptom improvement in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Study participants were patients with diabetes and comorbid depressive symptoms who were randomized to 8 sessions of either CBT (n = 45) or MBCT (n = 46), both individually delivered. The results showed that high outcome expectations were predictive of post-treatment depressive symptoms in CBT and MBCT, but not of early and mid-treatment symptoms. Patients’ outcome expectations predicted treatment completion in CBT and MBCT as well as homework compliance in MBCT. Homework compliance did not mediate the association between patients’ outcome expectations and post-treatment depressive symptom improvement. The findings do not support the hypothesis that patients’ expectations have an immediate impact on patients’ mental state and partially support the notion that patients are less involved in treatment when they hold low expectations for improvement.
Mindfulness and ruminative thinking have been shown to mediate the effects of mindfulness-based treatments on depressive symptoms. Yet, the dynamic interplay between these variables in daily life during mindfulness-based treatment has received little attention. The present study focuses on the sequence of daily changes taking place within individuals during a mindfulness-based treatment. Using a replicated single-subject time-series design, we examined the within-person temporal associations between day-to-day changes in mindfulness, repetitive thinking, and depressive symptoms. Study participants were six women with depressive symptoms who filled out diary questionnaires during a mindfulness-based treatment. A separate vector autoregressive (VAR) model was estimated for each participant. Changes in mindfulness and repetitive thinking preceded changes in depressive symptoms in a few of the six participants. We did not find evidence for reverse causality: changes in depressive symptoms did not predict later changes in mindfulness or repetitive thinking in any of the participants. These results are in accordance with the assumed causal chain of change underlying mindfulness-based treatments. Furthermore, all individuals showed moderate to strong concurrent (within-day) associations between the variables. Possible explanations for this finding include that change processes occur within the day or that the daily self-reports of mindfulness, repetitive thinking, and depressive symptoms overlap and reflect a common underlying state of mind.
ObjectiveCognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) have shown to be effective interventions for treating depressive symptoms in patients with diabetes. However, little is known about which intervention works best for whom (i.e., moderators of efficacy). The aim of this study was to identify variables that differentially predicted response to either CBT or MBCT (i.e., prescriptive predictors). Methods The sample consisted of 91 adult outpatients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and comorbid depressive symptoms (i.e., BDI-II ≥ 14) who were randomized to either individual 8-week CBT (n = 45) or individual 8-week MBCT (n = 46). Patients were followed for a year and depressive symptoms were measured at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at 9-months follow-up. The predictive effect of demographics, depression related characteristics, and disease specific characteristics on change in depressive symptoms was assessed by means of hierarchical regression analyses. Results Analyses showed that education was the only factor that differentially predicted a decrease in depressive symptoms directly after the interventions. At post-treatment, individuals with higher educational attainment responded better to MBCT, as compared to CBT. Yet, this effect was not apparent at 9-months follow-up. Conclusions This study did not identify variables that robustly differentially predicted treatment effectiveness of CBT and MBCT, indicating that both CBT and MBCT are accessible interventions that are effective for treating depressive symptoms in broad populations with diabetes. More research is needed to guide patient-treatment matching in clinical practice.