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It has long been theorised that there are two temporally distinct forms of self-reference: extended self-reference linking experiences across time, and momentary self-reference centred on the present. To characterise these two aspects of awareness, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine monitoring of enduring traits (’narrative’ focus, NF) or momentary experience (’experiential’ focus, EF) in both novice participants and those having attended an 8 week course in mindfulness meditation, a program that trains individuals to develop focused attention on the present. In novices, EF yielded focal reductions in self-referential cortical midline regions (medial prefrontal cortex, mPFC) associated with NF. In trained participants, EF resulted in more marked and pervasive reductions in the mPFC, and increased engagement of a right lateralised network, comprising the lateral PFC and viscerosomatic areas such as the insula, secondary somatosensory cortex and inferior parietal lobule. Functional connectivity analyses further demonstrated a strong coupling between the right insula and the mPFC in novices that was uncoupled in the mindfulness group. These results suggest a fundamental neural dissociation between two distinct forms of self-awareness that are habitually integrated but can be dissociated through attentional training: the self across time and in the present moment.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based program that combines mindfulness and cognitive therapy techniques for working with stress, anxiety, depression, and other problems. Building Competence in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy provides the first transcript of an entire 8-week program. This intimate portrayal of the challenges and celebrations of actual clients give the reader an inside look at the processes that occur within these groups. The author also provides insights and practical suggestions for building personal and professional competence in delivering the MBCT protocol.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an evidence-based program that combines mindfulness and cognitive therapy techniques for working with stress, anxiety, depression, and other problems. Building Competence in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy provides the first transcript of an entire 8-week program. This intimate portrayal of the challenges and celebrations of actual clients give the reader an inside look at the processes that occur within these groups. The author also provides insights and practical suggestions for building personal and professional competence in delivering the MBCT protocol.

Background: An important cognitive marker of clinical depression is a reduced ability to be specific in recalling personal memories, a phenomenon coined ‘overgeneral memory’. Overgeneral memory is considered as a stable cognitive trait that is intrinsically linked with depression and independent of mood state. Previous studies show that autobiographical memory is modifiable. Sampling and Methods: This study investigated whether autobiographical memory is differentially affected by treatment type. Depressed patients were randomly assigned to receive either cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for depression or pharmacotherapy (PHT). Results: The proportion of categoric memories decreased and the proportion of specific memories increased following both types of treatments, adding support to the view that overgeneral memory is modifiable. CBT also had a greater impact on reducing extended overgeneral memories compared to PHT. Conclusions: The results from the current study are important in that they show that overgeneral memory can be targeted and modified through brief treatment. The clinical significance of the finding that there was a greater decrease in extended memories in the CBT group is unclear.

In this article, we describe the nature of therapeutic collaboration between psychotherapist and group participants in mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which occurs in a group format and incorporates cognitive therapy and mindfulness practices with the aim of preventing depression relapse. Collaboration is a central part of two components of MBCT: inquiry and leading mindfulness practices. During the process of inquiry, the therapist‐initiated questions about the participant's moment‐to‐moment experience of the practice occurs in a context of curious, open, and warm attitudes. In addition, collaboration is maintained through co‐participation in mindfulness practices. We provide a case illustration of collaboration in these contexts and conclude with recommendations for clinical practice.

In this article, we describe the nature of therapeutic collaboration between psychotherapist and group participants in mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy (MBCT), which occurs in a group format and incorporates cognitive therapy and mindfulness practices with the aim of preventing depression relapse. Collaboration is a central part of two components of MBCT: inquiry and leading mindfulness practices. During the process of inquiry, the therapist‐initiated questions about the participant's moment‐to‐moment experience of the practice occurs in a context of curious, open, and warm attitudes. In addition, collaboration is maintained through co‐participation in mindfulness practices. We provide a case illustration of collaboration in these contexts and conclude with recommendations for clinical practice.

BackgroundDepression is a common condition that typically has a relapsing course. Effective interventions targeting relapse have the potential to dramatically reduce the point prevalence of the condition. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a group-based intervention that has shown efficacy in reducing depressive relapse. While trials of MBCT to date have met the core requirements of phase 1 translational research, there is a need now to move to phase 2 translational research - the application of MBCT within real-world settings with a view to informing policy and clinical practice. The aim of this trial is to examine the clinical impact and health economics of MBCT under real-world conditions and where efforts have been made to assess for and prevent resentful demoralization among the control group. Secondary aims of the project involve extending the phase 1 agenda to an examination of the effects of co-morbidity and mechanisms of action. Methods/Design This study is designed as a prospective, multi-site, single-blind, randomised controlled trial using a group comparison design between involving the intervention, MBCT, and a self-monitoring comparison condition, Depression Relapse Active Monitoring (DRAM). Follow-up is over 2 years. The design of the study indicates recruitment from primary and secondary care of 204 participants who have a history of 3 or more episodes of Major Depression but who are currently well. Measures assessing depressive relapse/recurrence, time to first clinical intervention, treatment expectancy and a range of secondary outcomes and process variables are included. A health economics evaluation will be undertaken to assess the incremental cost of MBCT. Discussion The results of this trial, including an examination of clinical, functional and health economic outcomes, will be used to assess the role that this treatment approach may have in recommendations for treatment of depression in Australia and elsewhere. If the findings are positive, we expect that this research will consolidate the evidence base to guide the decision to fund MBCT and to seek to promote its availability to those who have experienced at least 3 episodes of depression.

IMPORTANCE:Relapse prevention in recurrent depression is a significant public health problem, and antidepressants are the current first-line treatment approach. Identifying an equally efficacious nonpharmacological intervention would be an important development. OBJECTIVE: To conduct a meta-analysis on individual patient data to examine the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) compared with usual care and other active treatments, including antidepressants, in treating those with recurrent depression. DATA SOURCES: English-language studies published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals identified from EMBASE, PubMed/Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus, and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register from the first available year to November 22, 2014. Searches were conducted from November 2010 to November 2014. STUDY SELECTION: Randomized trials of manualized MBCT for relapse prevention in recurrent depression in full or partial remission that compared MBCT with at least 1 non-MBCT treatment, including usual care. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: This was an update to a previous meta-analysis. We screened 2555 new records after removing duplicates. Abstracts were screened for full-text extraction (S.S.) and checked by another researcher (T.D.). There were no disagreements. Of the original 2555 studies, 766 were evaluated against full study inclusion criteria, and we acquired full text for 8. Of these, 4 studies were excluded, and the remaining 4 were combined with the 6 studies identified from the previous meta-analysis, yielding 10 studies for qualitative synthesis. Full patient data were not available for 1 of these studies, resulting in 9 studies with individual patient data, which were included in the quantitative synthesis. RESULTS: Of the 1258 patients included, the mean (SD) age was 47.1 (11.9) years, and 944 (75.0%) were female. A 2-stage random effects approach showed that patients receiving MBCT had a reduced risk of depressive relapse within a 60-week follow-up period compared with those who did not receive MBCT (hazard ratio, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.58-0.82). Furthermore, comparisons with active treatments suggest a reduced risk of depressive relapse within a 60-week follow-up period (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.64-0.97). Using a 1-stage approach, sociodemographic (ie, age, sex, education, and relationship status) and psychiatric (ie, age at onset and number of previous episodes of depression) variables showed no statistically significant interaction with MBCT treatment. However, there was some evidence to suggest that a greater severity of depressive symptoms prior to treatment was associated with a larger effect of MBCT compared with other treatments. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy appears efficacious as a treatment for relapse prevention for those with recurrent depression, particularly those with more pronounced residual symptoms. Recommendations are made concerning how future trials can address remaining uncertainties and improve the rigor of the field.

There is encouraging evidence that structured psychological treatments for depression, in particular cognitive therapy, can reduce subsequent relapse after the period of initial treatment has been completed. However, there is a continuing need for prophylactic psychological approaches that can be administered to recovered patients in euthymic mood. An information-processing analysis of depressive maintenance and relapse is used to define the requirements for effective prevention, and to propose mechanisms through which cognitive therapy achieves its prophylactic effects. This analysis suggests that similar effects can be achieved using techniques of stress-reduction based on the skills of attentional control taught in mindfulness meditation. An information-processing analysis is presented of mindfulness and mindlessness, and of their relevance to preventing depressive relapse. This analysis provides the basis for the development of Attentional Control Training, a new approach to preventing relapse that integrates features of cognitive therapy and mindfulness training and is applicable to recovered depressed patients.

OBJECTIVE:Elevated rates of mood and anxiety disorders among high utilizers of health care have been suggested as one driver of increased service use. We compared the impact of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a structured group treatment, on the rates of health care utilization with matched control participants receiving non-MBCT group therapy. METHODS: Using Ontario health administrative data, we created a retrospective cohort of population-based patients receiving MBCT and an age- and gender-matched (3:1) cohort of non-MBCT group therapy controls. Subjects were recruited between 2003 and 2010 and stratified according to high/low rates of primary care utilization, with the high utilization cohort being the cohort of interest. The primary outcome was a reduction in an aggregate measure of non-mental health utilization comprising Emergency Department, non-mental health primary care, and non-psychiatrist specialist visits. RESULTS: There were 10,633 MBCT recipients, 4851 (46%) of whom were high utilizers. The proportion of high utilizers was 13,274 (45%, N=29,795) for non-MBCT group therapy controls. Among high utilizers, there was a significant reduction in non-mental health utilization among MBCT recipients compared to non-MBCT group therapy recipients (0.55 (0.21-0.89)) suggesting that for every two MBCT patients treated, there is a reduction in 1 non-mental health visit. CONCLUSION: Among high utilizers of primary care, MBCT reduced non-mental health care utilization 1year post-therapy compared to non-MBCT, group therapy controls. The reductions suggest that MBCT, an established treatment modality for a variety of mental illnesses, has the added benefit of reducing distress-related high health care utilization.

Decentering is defined as the ability to observe one's thoughts and feelings as temporary, objective events in the mind, as opposed to reflections of the self that are necessarily true. The Experiences Questionnaire (EQ) was designed to measure both decentering and rumination but has not been empirically validated. The current study investigated the factor structure of the EQ in both undergraduate and clinical populations. A single, unifactorial decentering construct emerged using 2 undergraduate samples. The convergent and discriminant validity of this decentering factor was demonstrated in negative relationships with measures of depression symptoms, depressive rumination, experiential avoidance, and emotion regulation. Finally, the factor structure of the EQ was replicated in a clinical sample of individuals in remission from depression, and the decentering factor evidenced a negative relationship to concurrent levels of depression symptoms. Findings from this series of studies offer initial support for the EQ as a measure of decentering.

Metacognitive awareness is a cognitive set in which negative thoughts/feelings are experienced as mental events, rather than as the self. The authors hypothesized that (a) reduced metacognitive awareness would be associated with vulnerability to depression and (b) cognitive therapy (CT) and mindfulness-based CT (MBCT) would reduce depressive relapse by increasing metacognitive awareness. They found (a) accessibility of metacognitive sets to depressive cues was less in a vulnerable group (residually depressed patients) than in nondepressed controls; (b) accessibility of metacognitive sets predicted relapse in residually depressed patients; (c) where CT reduced relapse in residually depressed patients, it increased accessibility of metacognitive sets; and (d) where MBCT reduced relapse in recovered depressed patients, it increased accessibility of metacognitive sets. CT and MBCT may reduce relapse by changing relationships to negative thoughts rather than by changing belief in thought content.

Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental attention to present-moment experience. In its therapeutic forms, mindfulness interventions promote increased tolerance of negative affect and improved well-being. However, the neural mechanisms underlying mindful mood regulation are poorly understood. Mindfulness training appears to enhance focused attention, supported by the anterior cingulate cortex and the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). In emotion regulation, these PFC changes promote the stable recruitment of a nonconceptual sensory pathway, an alternative to conventional attempts to cognitively reappraise negative emotion. In neural terms, the transition to nonconceptual awareness involves reducing evaluative processing, supported by midline structures of the PFC. Instead, attentional resources are directed toward a limbic pathway for present-moment sensory awareness, involving the thalamus, insula, and primary sensory regions. In patients with affective disorders, mindfulness training provides an alternative to cognitive efforts to control negative emotion, instead directing attention toward the transitory nature of momentary experience. Limiting cognitive elaboration in favour of momentary awareness appears to reduce automatic negative self-evaluation, increase tolerance for negative affect and pain, and help to engender self-compassion and empathy in people with chronic dysphoria.

Mindfulness involves nonjudgmental attention to present-moment experience. In its therapeutic forms, mindfulness interventions promote increased tolerance of negative affect and improved well-being. However, the neural mechanisms underlying mindful mood regulation are poorly understood. Mindfulness training appears to enhance focused attention, supported by the anterior cingulate cortex and the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). In emotion regulation, these PFC changes promote the stable recruitment of a nonconceptual sensory pathway, an alternative to conventional attempts to cognitively reappraise negative emotion. In neural terms, the transition to nonconceptual awareness involves reducing evaluative processing, supported by midline structures of the PFC. Instead, attentional resources are directed toward a limbic pathway for present-moment sensory awareness, involving the thalamus, insula, and primary sensory regions. In patients with affective disorders, mindfulness training provides an alternative to cognitive efforts to control negative emotion, instead directing attention toward the transitory nature of momentary experience. Limiting cognitive elaboration in favour of momentary awareness appears to reduce automatic negative self-evaluation, increase tolerance for negative affect and pain, and help to engender self-compassion and empathy in people with chronic dysphoria.

The development of the Mindfulness‐Based Cognitive Therapy Adherence Scale (MBCT‐AS) is described. This 17‐item scale measures therapist adherence to the treatment protocol for Mindfulness‐Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a treatment for the prevention of recurrence in Major Depressive Disorder. The MBCT‐AS assesses therapist behaviours specific to (MBCT) as well as therapy practices that MBCT shares with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). To determine the utility of this scale, we compared delivery of group MBCT against group CBT, with independent ratings of taped sessions provided to measure adherence to MBCT and CBT for therapists in both groups. The results showed that: (a) raters can reliably use the MBCT‐AS; (b) MBCT therapists demonstrated adherence to the treatment protocol, as measured by the MBCT‐AS; and (c) MBCT is distinguishable from CBT on both the MBCT‐AS and a scale measuring adherence to CBT (CBT‐AS). These findings indicate that the MBCT‐AS may be a useful tool for ensuring the proper delivery of MBCT in future research, and may be helpful in determining the elements of MBCT that are unique to that treatment.

This book presents an innovative eight-session program that has been clinically proven to bolster recovery from depression and prevent relapse. Developed by leading scientist-practitioners, and solidly grounded in current psychological research, the approach integrates cognitive therapy principles and practice into a mindfulness framework. Clinicians from any background will find vital tools to help clients maintain gains made by prior treatment and to expand the envelope of care to remission and beyond. The focus of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is teaching clients how to make a simple yet radical shift in their relationship to the thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations that contribute to depressive relapse. This shift entails fostering a "decentered" relationship to experience, in which negative thoughts or feelings can be viewed as events in the mind, rather than as "self" or as necessarily true. Step-by-step guidelines are provided for conducting awareness exercises and cognitive interventions that help clients both gain awareness of mild states of sadness and prevent them from spiraling out of control. Illustrative transcripts and a wealth of reproducible materials, including session summaries and participant forms, enhance the clinical utility of the volume. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

This acclaimed work, now in a new edition, has introduced tens of thousands of clinicians to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for depression, an 8-week program with proven effectiveness. Step by step, the authors explain the "whys" and "how-tos" of conducting mindfulness practices and cognitive interventions that have been shown to bolster recovery from depression and prevent relapse. Clinicians are also guided to practice mindfulness themselves, an essential prerequisite to teaching others. Forty-five reproducible handouts are included. Purchasers get access to a companion website featuring downloadable audio recordings of the guided mindfulness practices (meditations and mindful movement), plus all of the reproducibles, ready to download and print in a convenient 8 1/2" x 11" size. A separate website for use by clients features the audio recordings only. New to This Edition *Incorporates a decade's worth of developments in MBCT clinical practice and training. *Chapters on additional treatment components: the pre-course interview and optional full-day retreat. *Chapters on self-compassion, the inquiry process, and the three-minute breathing space. *Findings from multiple studies of MBCT's effectiveness and underlying mechanisms. Includes studies of adaptations for treating psychological and physical health problems other than depression. *Audio files of the guided mindfulness practices, narrated by the authors, on two separate Web pages--one for professionals, together with the reproducibles, and one just for clients. See also the authors' related titles for clients: The Mindful Way through Depression demonstrates these proven strategies in a self-help format, with in-depth stories and examples. The Mindful Way Workbook gives clients additional, explicit support for building their mindfulness practice, following the sequence of the MBCT program. Plus, for professionals: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy with People at Risk of Suicide extends and refines MBCT for clients with suicidal depression.

Objective:While mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has demonstrated efficacy in reducing depressive relapse/recurrence over 12–18 months, questions remain around effectiveness, longer-term outcomes, and suitability in combination with medication. The aim of this study was to investigate within a pragmatic study design the effectiveness of MBCT on depressive relapse/recurrence over 2 years of follow-up. Method: This was a prospective, multi-site, single-blind trial based in Melbourne and the regional city of Geelong, Australia. Non-depressed adults with a history of three or more episodes of depression were randomised to MBCT + depression relapse active monitoring (DRAM) (n=101) or control (DRAM alone) (n=102). Randomisation was stratified by medication (prescribed antidepressants and/or mood stabilisers: yes/no), site of usual care (primary or specialist), diagnosis (bipolar disorder: yes/no) and sex. Relapse/recurrence of major depression was assessed over 2 years using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview 2.1. Results: The average number of days with major depression was 65 for MBCT participants and 112 for controls, significant with repeated-measures ANOVA (F(1, 164)=4.56, p=0.03). Proportionally fewer MBCT participants relapsed in both year 1 and year 2 compared to controls (odds ratio 0.45, p<0.05). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis for time to first depressive episode was non-significant, although trends favouring the MBCT group were suggested. Subgroup analyses supported the effectiveness of MBCT for people receiving usual care in a specialist setting and for people taking antidepressant/mood stabiliser medication. Conclusions: This work in a pragmatic design with an active control condition supports the effectiveness of MBCT in something closer to implementation in routine practice than has been studied hitherto. As expected in this translational research design, observed effects were less strong than in some previous efficacy studies but appreciable and significant differences in outcome were detected. MBCT is most clearly demonstrated as effective for people receiving specialist care and seems to work well combined with antidepressants.

Objective:While mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) has demonstrated efficacy in reducing depressive relapse/recurrence over 12–18 months, questions remain around effectiveness, longer-term outcomes, and suitability in combination with medication. The aim of this study was to investigate within a pragmatic study design the effectiveness of MBCT on depressive relapse/recurrence over 2 years of follow-up. Method: This was a prospective, multi-site, single-blind trial based in Melbourne and the regional city of Geelong, Australia. Non-depressed adults with a history of three or more episodes of depression were randomised to MBCT + depression relapse active monitoring (DRAM) (n=101) or control (DRAM alone) (n=102). Randomisation was stratified by medication (prescribed antidepressants and/or mood stabilisers: yes/no), site of usual care (primary or specialist), diagnosis (bipolar disorder: yes/no) and sex. Relapse/recurrence of major depression was assessed over 2 years using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview 2.1. Results: The average number of days with major depression was 65 for MBCT participants and 112 for controls, significant with repeated-measures ANOVA (F(1, 164)=4.56, p=0.03). Proportionally fewer MBCT participants relapsed in both year 1 and year 2 compared to controls (odds ratio 0.45, p<0.05). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis for time to first depressive episode was non-significant, although trends favouring the MBCT group were suggested. Subgroup analyses supported the effectiveness of MBCT for people receiving usual care in a specialist setting and for people taking antidepressant/mood stabiliser medication. Conclusions: This work in a pragmatic design with an active control condition supports the effectiveness of MBCT in something closer to implementation in routine practice than has been studied hitherto. As expected in this translational research design, observed effects were less strong than in some previous efficacy studies but appreciable and significant differences in outcome were detected. MBCT is most clearly demonstrated as effective for people receiving specialist care and seems to work well combined with antidepressants.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:The article reviews the recent evidence for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for patients with residual depressive symptoms or in remitted patients at increased risk for relapse. RECENT FINDINGS: Randomized controlled trials have shifted focus from comparing MBCT with treatment-as-usual to comparing MBCT against interventions. These studies have provided evidence for the efficacy of MBCT on par with maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy and leading to a relative reduction of risk on the order of 30-40%. Perhaps fuelled by these data, recent efforts have focused on extending MBCT to novel populations, such as acutely depressed patients, those diagnosed with health anxiety, social anxiety, fibromyalgia, or multiple chemical sensitivities as well migrating MBCT to online platforms so that it is more widely available. Neuroimaging studies of patients in structured therapies which feature mindfulness meditation, have reported findings that parallel behavioral changes, such as increased activation in brain regions subsuming self-focus and emotion regulation (prefrontal cortex) and interoceptive awareness (insula). SUMMARY: The current evidence base for MBCT is strongest for its application as a prophylactic intervention or for residual depressive symptoms, with early data suggesting additional indications outside the mood disorders. Future work will need to address dose-effect relationships between mindfulness practice and clinical benefits, as well as establishing the rates of uptake for online MBCT so that its benefits can be compared to in-person groups. Additionally, validating current or novel neural markers of MBCT treatment response will allow for patient matching and optimization of treatment response.

BackgroundMajor depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the developed world, yet broadly effective treatments remain elusive. Up to 40% of patients with depression are unresponsive to at least two trials of antidepressant medication and thus have “treatment-resistant depression” (TRD). There is an urgent need for cost-effective, non-pharmacologic, evidence-based treatments for TRD. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an effective treatment for relapse prevention and residual depression in major depression, but has not been previously studied in patients with TRD in a large randomized trial. Methods/Design The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether MBCT is an effective augmentation of antidepressants for adults with MDD who failed to respond to standard pharmacotherapy. MBCT was compared to an active control condition, the Health-Enhancement Program (HEP), which incorporates physical activity, functional movement, music therapy and nutritional advice. HEP was designed as a comparator condition for mindfulness-based interventions to control for non-specific effects. Originally investigated in a non-clinical sample to promote stress reduction, HEP was adapted for a depressed population for this study. Individuals age 18 and older with moderate to severe TRD, who failed to respond to at least two trials of antidepressants in the current episode, were recruited to participate. All participants were taking antidepressants (Treatment as usual; TAU) at the time of enrollment. After signing an informed consent, participants were randomly assigned to either MBCT or HEP condition. Participants were followed for 1 year and assessed at weeks 1–7, 8, 24, 36, and 52. Change in depression severity, rate of treatment response and remission after 8 weeks were the primary outcomes measured by the clinician-rated Hamilton Depression Severity Rating (HAM-D) 17-item scale. The participant-rated Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomology (QIDS-SR) 16-item scale was the secondary outcome measure of depression severity, response, and remission. Discussion Treatment-resistant depression entails significant morbidity and has few effective treatments. We studied the effect of augmenting antidepressant medication with MBCT, compared with a HEP control, for patients with TRD. Analyses will focus on clinician and patient assessment of depression, participants’ clinical global impression change, employment and social functioning scores and quality of life and satisfaction ratings.

BackgroundMajor depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the developed world, yet broadly effective treatments remain elusive. Up to 40% of patients with depression are unresponsive to at least two trials of antidepressant medication and thus have “treatment-resistant depression” (TRD). There is an urgent need for cost-effective, non-pharmacologic, evidence-based treatments for TRD. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an effective treatment for relapse prevention and residual depression in major depression, but has not been previously studied in patients with TRD in a large randomized trial. Methods/Design The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether MBCT is an effective augmentation of antidepressants for adults with MDD who failed to respond to standard pharmacotherapy. MBCT was compared to an active control condition, the Health-Enhancement Program (HEP), which incorporates physical activity, functional movement, music therapy and nutritional advice. HEP was designed as a comparator condition for mindfulness-based interventions to control for non-specific effects. Originally investigated in a non-clinical sample to promote stress reduction, HEP was adapted for a depressed population for this study. Individuals age 18 and older with moderate to severe TRD, who failed to respond to at least two trials of antidepressants in the current episode, were recruited to participate. All participants were taking antidepressants (Treatment as usual; TAU) at the time of enrollment. After signing an informed consent, participants were randomly assigned to either MBCT or HEP condition. Participants were followed for 1 year and assessed at weeks 1–7, 8, 24, 36, and 52. Change in depression severity, rate of treatment response and remission after 8 weeks were the primary outcomes measured by the clinician-rated Hamilton Depression Severity Rating (HAM-D) 17-item scale. The participant-rated Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomology (QIDS-SR) 16-item scale was the secondary outcome measure of depression severity, response, and remission. Discussion Treatment-resistant depression entails significant morbidity and has few effective treatments. We studied the effect of augmenting antidepressant medication with MBCT, compared with a HEP control, for patients with TRD. Analyses will focus on clinician and patient assessment of depression, participants’ clinical global impression change, employment and social functioning scores and quality of life and satisfaction ratings.

BackgroundMajor depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability in the developed world, yet broadly effective treatments remain elusive. Up to 40% of patients with depression are unresponsive to at least two trials of antidepressant medication and thus have “treatment-resistant depression” (TRD). There is an urgent need for cost-effective, non-pharmacologic, evidence-based treatments for TRD. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an effective treatment for relapse prevention and residual depression in major depression, but has not been previously studied in patients with TRD in a large randomized trial. Methods/Design The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether MBCT is an effective augmentation of antidepressants for adults with MDD who failed to respond to standard pharmacotherapy. MBCT was compared to an active control condition, the Health-Enhancement Program (HEP), which incorporates physical activity, functional movement, music therapy and nutritional advice. HEP was designed as a comparator condition for mindfulness-based interventions to control for non-specific effects. Originally investigated in a non-clinical sample to promote stress reduction, HEP was adapted for a depressed population for this study. Individuals age 18 and older with moderate to severe TRD, who failed to respond to at least two trials of antidepressants in the current episode, were recruited to participate. All participants were taking antidepressants (Treatment as usual; TAU) at the time of enrollment. After signing an informed consent, participants were randomly assigned to either MBCT or HEP condition. Participants were followed for 1 year and assessed at weeks 1–7, 8, 24, 36, and 52. Change in depression severity, rate of treatment response and remission after 8 weeks were the primary outcomes measured by the clinician-rated Hamilton Depression Severity Rating (HAM-D) 17-item scale. The participant-rated Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomology (QIDS-SR) 16-item scale was the secondary outcome measure of depression severity, response, and remission. Discussion Treatment-resistant depression entails significant morbidity and has few effective treatments. We studied the effect of augmenting antidepressant medication with MBCT, compared with a HEP control, for patients with TRD. Analyses will focus on clinician and patient assessment of depression, participants’ clinical global impression change, employment and social functioning scores and quality of life and satisfaction ratings.

Previous research on depressed and suicidal patients and those with posttraumatic stress disorder has shown that patients' memory for the past is overgeneral (i.e., patients retrieve generic summaries of past events rather than specific events). This study investigated whether autobiographical memory could be affected by psychological treatment. Recovered depressed patients were randomly allocated to receive either treatment as usual or treatment designed to reduce risk of relapse. Whereas control patients showed no change in specificity of memories recalled in response to cue words, the treatment group showed a significantly reduced number of generic memories. Although such a memory deficit may arise from long-standing tendencies to encode and retrieve events generically, such a style is open to modification.

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