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As mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) becomes an increasingly mainstream approach for recurrent depression, there is a growing need for practitioners who are able to teach MBCT. The requirements for being competent as a mindfulness-based teacher include personal meditation practice and at least a year of additional professional training. This study is the first to investigate the relationship between MBCT teacher competence and several key dimensions of MBCT treatment outcomes. Patients with recurrent depression in remission (N = 241) participated in a multi-centre trial of MBCT, provided by 15 teachers. Teacher competence was assessed using the Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI:TAC) based on two to four randomly selected video-recorded sessions of each of the 15 teachers, evaluated by 16 trained assessors. Results showed that teacher competence was not significantly associated with adherence (number of MBCT sessions attended), possible mechanisms of change (rumination, cognitive reactivity, mindfulness, and self-compassion), or key outcomes (depressive symptoms at post treatment and depressive relapse/recurrence during the 15-month follow-up). Thus, findings from the current study indicate no robust effects of teacher competence, as measured by the MBI:TAC, on possible mediators and outcome variables in MBCT for recurrent depression. Possible explanations are the standardized delivery of MBCT, the strong emphasis on self-reliance within the MBCT learning process, the importance of participant-related factors, the difficulties in assessing teacher competence, the absence of main treatment effects in terms of reducing depressive symptoms, and the relatively small selection of videotapes. Further work is required to systematically investigate these explanations.

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) as a follow-up intervention to Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy in adults with recurrent depression. We conducted an uncontrolled study in 17 patients with recurrent depression, in two successive groups. The first group contained novices to compassion training (N = 14); in the second group, ten of these participated again, in addition to three new participants (N = 13). The overall group contained 15 females and 2 males, aged between 37 and 71. The MBCL program was qualitatively evaluated using post-intervention focus group interviews in both groups. In addition, self-report questionnaires assessing depressive symptoms, worry and both self-compassion and mindfulness skills were administered before and after MBCL. No patients dropped out of the intervention. Average attendance was 7.52 (SD 0.73) out of eight sessions. Helpful elements were theory on the emotion regulation systems, practicing self-compassion explicitly and embodiment of a compassionate attitude by the teachers. Unhelpful elements were the lack of a clear structure, lack of time to practice compassion for self and the occurrence of the so-called back draft effect. We adapted the program in accordance with the feedback of the participants. Preliminary results showed a reduction in depressive symptoms in the second group, but not in the first group, and an increase in self-compassion in both groups. Worry and overall mindfulness did not change. MBCL appears to be feasible and acceptable for patients suffering from recurrent depressive symptoms who previously participated in MBCT. Selection bias may have been a factor as only experienced and motivated participants were used; this, however, suited our intention to co-create MBCL in close collaboration with knowledgeable users. Examination of the effectiveness of MBCL in a sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial is needed.

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) as a follow-up intervention to Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy in adults with recurrent depression. We conducted an uncontrolled study in 17 patients with recurrent depression, in two successive groups. The first group contained novices to compassion training (N = 14); in the second group, ten of these participated again, in addition to three new participants (N = 13). The overall group contained 15 females and 2 males, aged between 37 and 71. The MBCL program was qualitatively evaluated using post-intervention focus group interviews in both groups. In addition, self-report questionnaires assessing depressive symptoms, worry and both self-compassion and mindfulness skills were administered before and after MBCL. No patients dropped out of the intervention. Average attendance was 7.52 (SD 0.73) out of eight sessions. Helpful elements were theory on the emotion regulation systems, practicing self-compassion explicitly and embodiment of a compassionate attitude by the teachers. Unhelpful elements were the lack of a clear structure, lack of time to practice compassion for self and the occurrence of the so-called back draft effect. We adapted the program in accordance with the feedback of the participants. Preliminary results showed a reduction in depressive symptoms in the second group, but not in the first group, and an increase in self-compassion in both groups. Worry and overall mindfulness did not change. MBCL appears to be feasible and acceptable for patients suffering from recurrent depressive symptoms who previously participated in MBCT. Selection bias may have been a factor as only experienced and motivated participants were used; this, however, suited our intention to co-create MBCL in close collaboration with knowledgeable users. Examination of the effectiveness of MBCL in a sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial is needed.

BackgroundCognitive problems frequently occur in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and profoundly affect their quality of life. So far, the best cognitive treatment options for MS patients are a matter of debate. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the effectiveness of two promising non-pharmacological treatments: cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CRT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Furthermore, this study aims to gain additional knowledge about the aetiology of cognitive problems among MS patients, since this may help to develop and guide effective cognitive treatments. Methods/design In a dual-centre, single-blind randomised controlled trial (RCT), 120 MS patients will be randomised into one of three parallel groups: CRT, MBCT or enhanced treatment as usual (ETAU). Both CRT and MBCT consist of a structured 9-week program. ETAU consists of one appointment with an MS specialist nurse. Measurements will be performed at baseline, post-intervention and 6 months after the interventions. The primary outcome measure is the level of subjective cognitive complaints. Secondary outcome measures are objective cognitive function, functional brain network measures (using magnetoencephalography), psychological symptoms, well-being, quality of life and daily life functioning. Discussion To our knowledge, this will be the first RCT that investigates the effect of MBCT on cognitive function among MS patients. In addition, studying the effect of CRT on cognitive function may provide direction to the contradictory evidence that is currently available. This study will also provide information on changes in functional brain networks in relation to cognitive function. To conclude, this study may help to understand and treat cognitive problems among MS patients.

BACKGROUND:Mindfulness-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. AIMS: To investigate whether MBCT with discontinuation of mADM is non-inferior to MBCT+mADM. METHOD: A multicentre randomised controlled non-inferiority trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: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. RESULTS: The 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. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest an increased risk of relapse/recurrence in patients withdrawing from mADM after MBCT.

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.

BackgroundThis study examined whether changes in mindfulness skills following Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) are predictive of long-term changes in personality traits. Methods Using data from the MOMENT study, we included 278 participants with recurrent depression in remission allocated to Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Mindfulness skills were measured with the FFMQ at baseline, after treatment and at 15-month follow-up and personality traits with the NEO-PI-R at baseline and follow-up. Results For 138 participants, complete repeated assessments of mindfulness and personality traits were available. Following MBCT participants manifested significant improvement of mindfulness skills. Moreover, at 15-month follow-up participants showed significantly lower levels of neuroticism and higher levels of conscientiousness. Large improvements in mindfulness skills after treatment predicted the long-term changes in neuroticism but not in conscientiousness, while controlling for use of maintenance antidepressant medication, baseline depression severity and change in depression severity during follow-up (IDS-C). In particular improvements in the facets of acting with awareness predicted lower levels of neuroticism. Sensitivity analyses with multiple data imputation yielded similar results. Limitations Uncontrolled clinical study with substantial attrition based on data of two randomized controlled trials. Conclusions The design of the present study precludes to establish whether there is any causal association between changes in mindfulness and subsequent changes in neuroticism. MBCT could be a viable intervention to directly target one of the most important risk factors for onset and maintenance of recurrent depression and other mental disorders, i.e. neuroticism.

The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of mindful walking in nature as a possible means to maintain mindfulness skills after a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) or mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course. Mindful walking alongside the river Rhine took place for 1, 3, 6, or 10 days, with a control period of a similar number of days, 1 week before the mindful walking period. In 29 mindfulness participants, experience sampling method (ESM) was performed during the control and mindful walking period. Smartphones offered items on positive and negative affect and state mindfulness at random times during the day. Furthermore, self-report questionnaires were administered before and after the control and mindful walking period, assessing depression, anxiety, stress, brooding, and mindfulness skills. ESM data showed that walking resulted in a significant improvement of both mindfulness and positive affect, and that state mindfulness and positive affect prospectively enhanced each other in an upward spiral. The opposite pattern was observed with state mindfulness and negative affect, where increased state mindfulness predicted less negative affect. Exploratory questionnaire data indicated corresponding results, though non-significant due to the small sample size. This is the first time that ESM was used to assess interactions between state mindfulness and momentary affect during a mindfulness intervention of several consecutive days, showing an upward spiral effect. Mindful walking in nature may be an effective way to maintain mindfulness practice and further improve psychological functioning.

Background: The number of patients living with cancer is growing, and a substantial number of patients suffer from psychological distress. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) seem effective in alleviating psychological distress. Unfortunately, several cancer patients find it difficult, if not impossible, to attend a group-based course. Internet-based MBIs (eMBIs) such as Internet-based mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (eMBCT) may offer solutions. However, it is yet to be studied what facilitators and barriers cancer patients experience during eMBCT.Objective: This study aimed to explore facilitators and barriers of individual asynchronous therapist-assisted eMBCT as experienced by both patients and therapists. Methods: Patients with heterogeneous cancer diagnoses suffering from psychological distress were offered eMBCT. This 9-week intervention mirrored the group-based MBCT protocol and included weekly asynchronous written therapist feedback. Patients were granted access to a website that contained the eMBCT protocol and a secured inbox, and they were asked to practice and fill out diaries on which the therapist provided feedback. In total, 31 patients participated in an individual posttreatment interview on experienced facilitators and barriers during eMBCT. Moreover, eight therapists were interviewed. The data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis to identify barriers and facilitators in eMBCT. Results: Both patients and therapists mentioned four overarching themes as facilitators and barriers: treatment setting (the individual and Internet-based nature of the treatment), treatment format (how the treatment and its guidance were organized and delivered), role of the therapist, and individual patient characteristics. Conclusions: The eMBCT provided flexibility in when, where, and how patients and therapists engage in MBCT. Future studies should assess how different eMBCT designs could further improve barriers that were found.

Background: The number of patients living with cancer is growing, and a substantial number of patients suffer from psychological distress. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) seem effective in alleviating psychological distress. Unfortunately, several cancer patients find it difficult, if not impossible, to attend a group-based course. Internet-based MBIs (eMBIs) such as Internet-based mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (eMBCT) may offer solutions. However, it is yet to be studied what facilitators and barriers cancer patients experience during eMBCT.Objective: This study aimed to explore facilitators and barriers of individual asynchronous therapist-assisted eMBCT as experienced by both patients and therapists. Methods: Patients with heterogeneous cancer diagnoses suffering from psychological distress were offered eMBCT. This 9-week intervention mirrored the group-based MBCT protocol and included weekly asynchronous written therapist feedback. Patients were granted access to a website that contained the eMBCT protocol and a secured inbox, and they were asked to practice and fill out diaries on which the therapist provided feedback. In total, 31 patients participated in an individual posttreatment interview on experienced facilitators and barriers during eMBCT. Moreover, eight therapists were interviewed. The data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis to identify barriers and facilitators in eMBCT. Results: Both patients and therapists mentioned four overarching themes as facilitators and barriers: treatment setting (the individual and Internet-based nature of the treatment), treatment format (how the treatment and its guidance were organized and delivered), role of the therapist, and individual patient characteristics. Conclusions: The eMBCT provided flexibility in when, where, and how patients and therapists engage in MBCT. Future studies should assess how different eMBCT designs could further improve barriers that were found.

Background: The number of patients living with cancer is growing, and a substantial number of patients suffer from psychological distress. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) seem effective in alleviating psychological distress. Unfortunately, several cancer patients find it difficult, if not impossible, to attend a group-based course. Internet-based MBIs (eMBIs) such as Internet-based mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (eMBCT) may offer solutions. However, it is yet to be studied what facilitators and barriers cancer patients experience during eMBCT.Objective: This study aimed to explore facilitators and barriers of individual asynchronous therapist-assisted eMBCT as experienced by both patients and therapists. Methods: Patients with heterogeneous cancer diagnoses suffering from psychological distress were offered eMBCT. This 9-week intervention mirrored the group-based MBCT protocol and included weekly asynchronous written therapist feedback. Patients were granted access to a website that contained the eMBCT protocol and a secured inbox, and they were asked to practice and fill out diaries on which the therapist provided feedback. In total, 31 patients participated in an individual posttreatment interview on experienced facilitators and barriers during eMBCT. Moreover, eight therapists were interviewed. The data were analyzed with qualitative content analysis to identify barriers and facilitators in eMBCT. Results: Both patients and therapists mentioned four overarching themes as facilitators and barriers: treatment setting (the individual and Internet-based nature of the treatment), treatment format (how the treatment and its guidance were organized and delivered), role of the therapist, and individual patient characteristics. Conclusions: The eMBCT provided flexibility in when, where, and how patients and therapists engage in MBCT. Future studies should assess how different eMBCT designs could further improve barriers that were found.

BackgroundChronic and treatment‐resistant depressions pose serious problems in mental health care. Mindfulness‐based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an effective treatment for remitted and currently depressed patients. It is, however, unknown whether MBCT is effective for chronic, treatment‐resistant depressed patients. Method A pragmatic, multicenter, randomized‐controlled trial was conducted comparing treatment‐as‐usual (TAU) with MBCT + TAU in 106 chronically depressed outpatients who previously received pharmacotherapy (≥4 weeks) and psychological treatment (≥10 sessions). Results Based on the intention‐to‐treat (ITT) analysis, participants in the MBCT + TAU condition did not have significantly fewer depressive symptoms than those in the TAU condition (–3.23 [–6.99 to 0.54], d = 0.35, P = 0.09) at posttreatment. However, compared to TAU, the MBCT + TAU group reported significantly higher remission rates (χ2(2) = 4.25, φ = 0.22, P = 0.04), lower levels of rumination (–3.85 [–7.55 to –0.15], d = 0.39, P = 0.04), a higher quality of life (4.42 [0.03–8.81], d = 0.42, P = 0.048), more mindfulness skills (11.25 [6.09–16.40], d = 0.73, P < 0.001), and more self‐compassion (2.91 [1.17–4.65], d = 0.64, P = 0.001). The percentage of non‐completers in the MBCT + TAU condition was relatively high (n = 12, 24.5%). Per‐protocol analyses revealed that those who completed MBCT + TAU had significantly fewer depressive symptoms at posttreatment compared to participants receiving TAU (–4.24 [–8.38 to –0.11], d = 0.45, P = 0.04). Conclusion Although the ITT analysis did not reveal a significant reduction in depressive symptoms of MBCT + TAU over TAU, MBCT + TAU seems to have beneficial effects for chronic, treatment‐resistant depressed patients in terms of remission rates, rumination, quality of life, mindfulness skills, and self‐compassion. Additionally, patients who completed MBCT showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms. Reasons for non‐completion should be further investigated.

BackgroundA recent randomized controlled trial provided preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for the top 10% frequent attenders in primary care with persistent medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). This qualitative study aims to explore working mechanisms and possible barriers of MBCT in this population. Methods Twelve participants of the trial were interviewed about their experiences. This was done before and after the MBCT course, and 12 months later. Written evaluations of participants and notes of participant observers were used for data-triangulation. Results In total, 35 qualitative interviews were conducted. MBCT initiated a process of change, starting with awareness of the present moment, the associated sensory experiences, thoughts and emotions and accepting rather than resisting these. Participants started to recognize their own behavioral patterns and change them, thus improving self-care. Self-compassion seemed to result from and facilitate this process. Main barriers were concurrent social problems and the inability or unwillingness to accept symptoms. Conclusions MBCT can start a process of change in patients with persistent MUS. Awareness and acceptance of painful symptoms and emotions are key factors in this process. Change of unhelpful behavioral patterns and increased self-care and self-compassion can result from this process.

BackgroundAdults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often present with a lifelong pattern of core symptoms that is associated with impairments of functioning in daily life. This has a substantial personal and economic impact. In clinical practice there is a high need for additional or alternative interventions for existing treatments, usually consisting of pharmacotherapy and/or psycho-education. Although previous studies show preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing ADHD symptoms and improving executive functioning, these studies have methodological limitations. This study will take account of these limitations and will examine the effectiveness of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in further detail. Methods/design A multi-centre, parallel-group, randomised controlled trial will be conducted in N = 120 adults with ADHD. Patients will be randomised to MBCT in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone. Assessments will take place at baseline and at three, six and nine months after baseline. Primary outcome measure will be severity of ADHD symptoms rated by a blinded clinician. Secondary outcome measures will be self-reported ADHD symptoms, executive functioning, mindfulness skills, self-compassion, positive mental health and general functioning. In addition, a cost-effectiveness analysis will be conducted. Discussion This trial will offer valuable information about the clinical and cost-effectiveness of MBCT in addition to TAU compared to TAU alone in adults swith ADHD. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02463396. Registered 8 June 2015.

Studies examining mindfulness in relation to personality traits have been mainly conducted in non-clinical samples and resulted in mixed findings. The present cross-sectional study examined which mindfulness facets are most strongly associated with Big Five personality domains and facets implicated in the onset and possible relapse/recurrence of recurrent depression. Using data from the MOMENT study, we included 278 adult persons with recurrent depression in remission (SCID-I), who had completed baseline measurements of mindfulness (FFMQ) and personality (NEO PI-R). Using exploratory factor analysis, we observed that the mindfulness facets of acting with awareness, non-judging and non-reactivity loaded positively and the neuroticism facets loaded negatively on the first factor (called self-regulation) and that the mindfulness facets of observing and describing and the openness to experience facets loaded positively on the second factor (called self-awareness) of the identified five-factor solution. Lower-level facet analyses taking the multidimensional nature of mindfulness and personality traits into account clearly show that mindful self-regulation skills are associated with neuroticism, which is a known risk factor for relapse/recurrence of depression in persons with recurrent depression. Future longitudinal studies are needed to assess whether these mindful self-regulation skills may constitute a protective factor in the relationship of neuroticism with depression.

Depressive severity has been associated with attenuated neocortical frontal midline theta (Fm-θ) power/evoked activity. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has shown to be a successful novel intervention for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), albeit precise working mechanisms remain elusive. We examined the hypothesis that MBCT would have modulating effects upon evoked Fm-θ power, in addition to investigating possible mediation of induced event-related de/synchronisation (ERD/ERS) dynamics. Fifty one patients with a primary diagnosis of MDD (26 exposed to MBCT vs. 25 wait-list/WL controls) undertook a Go/NoGo task consisting of positive, negative and neutral words, further stratified into abstract versus trait adjective matrices. Depressive symptom severity and rumination were also examined. A pattern of enhanced induced Fm-θ synchronisation during the latter 400–800 ms temporal-window pre-to-post MBCT was observed; the contrary in the WL. Modulated ERD/ERS dynamics correlated to amelioration in depressive and rumination symptoms in the MBCT group. We propose the primary action pathway alluded to a neural disengagement mechanism enacting upon tonic neuronal assemblies implicated in emotional and self-related processing. Due to the complexity and presently undiscovered complete unified scientific understanding of neuro-oscillatory-dynamics, and associated clinical interplays; we hypothesise that the electro-cortical and connected clinical working pathways of MBCT in depression are multi-levelled constituting nonlinear and interdependent mechanisms, represented by mediated EEG synchronisation dynamics.

BackgroundMindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been shown to reduce the risk of relapse in patients with recurrent depression, but relapse rates remain high. To further improve outcome for this group of patients, follow-up interventions may be needed. Compassion training focuses explicitly on developing self-compassion, one of the putative working mechanisms of MBCT. No previous research has been done on the effectiveness of compassion training following MBCT in patients with recurrent depression. Aims To investigate the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL) in reducing (residual) depressive symptoms in patients with recurrent depression who previously participated in MBCT. Methods/design A randomized controlled trial comparing MBCL in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) with TAU only, in patients suffering from recurrent depressive episodes who completed an MBCT course in the past. Assessments will take place at baseline, post-treatment and at six months follow-up. After the control period, patients randomized to the TAU condition will be offered MBCL as well. Outcome measures Primary outcome measure is severity of depressive symptoms according to the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) at post-treatment. Secondary outcome measures are presence or absence of DSM-IV depressive disorder, rumination, self-compassion, mindfulness skills, positive affect, quality of life, experiential avoidance and fear of self-compassion. Discussion Our study is the first randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of compassion training following MBCT in a recurrently depressed population.

BACKGROUND:Previous studies have suggested that patients' treatment preferences may influence treatment outcome. The current study investigated whether preference for either mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) or maintenance antidepressant medication (mADM) to prevent relapse in recurrent depression was associated with patients' characteristics, treatment adherence, or treatment outcome of MBCT. METHODS: The data originated from two parallel randomised controlled trials, the first comparing the combination of MBCT and mADM to MBCT in patients preferring MBCT (n=249), the second comparing the combination to mADM alone in patients preferring mADM (n=68). Patients' characteristics were compared across the trials (n=317). Subsequently, adherence and clinical outcomes were compared for patients who all received the combination (n=154). RESULTS: Patients with a preference for mADM reported more previous depressive episodes and higher levels of mindfulness at baseline. Preference did not affect adherence to either MBCT or mADM. With regard to treatment outcome of MBCT added to mADM, preference was not associated with relapse/recurrence (χ(2)=0.07; p=.80), severity of (residual) depressive symptoms during the 15-month follow-up period (β=-0.08, p=.49), or quality of life. LIMITATIONS: The group preferring mADM was relatively small. The influence of preferences on outcome may have been limited in the current study because both preference groups received both interventions. CONCLUSIONS: The fact that patients with a preference for medication did equally well as those with a preference for mindfulness supports the applicability of MBCT for recurrent depression. Future studies of MBCT should include measures of preferences to increase knowledge in this area.

BACKGROUND:Depression is a common psychiatric disorder characterized by a high rate of relapse and recurrence. The most commonly used strategy to prevent relapse/recurrence is maintenance treatment with antidepressant medication (mADM). Recently, it has been shown that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is at least as effective as mADM in reducing the relapse/recurrence risk. However, it is not yet known whether combination treatment of MBCT and mADM is more effective than either of these treatments alone. Given the fact that most patients have a preference for either mADM or for MBCT, the aim of the present study is to answer the following questions. First, what is the effectiveness of MBCT in addition to mADM? Second, how large is the risk of relapse/recurrence in patients withdrawing from mADM after participating in MBCT, compared to those who continue to use mADM after MBCT? METHODS/DESIGN: Two parallel-group, multi-center randomized controlled trials are conducted. Adult patients with a history of depression (3 or more episodes), currently either in full or partial remission and currently treated with mADM (6 months or longer) are recruited. In the first trial, we compare mADM on its own with mADM plus MBCT. In the second trial, we compare MBCT on its own, including tapering of mADM, with mADM plus MBCT. Follow-up assessments are administered at 3-month intervals for 15 months. Primary outcome is relapse/recurrence. Secondary outcomes are time to, duration and severity of relapse/recurrence, quality of life, personality, several process variables, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. DISCUSSION: Taking into account patient preferences, this study will provide information about a) the clinical and cost-effectiveness of mADM only compared with mADM plus MBCT, in patients with a preference for mADM, and b) the clinical and cost-effectiveness of withdrawing from mADM after MBCT, compared with mADM plus MBCT, in patients with a preference for MBCT.

BackgroundMajor depression is a common psychiatric disorder, frequently taking a chronic course. Despite provision of evidence-based treatments, including antidepressant medication and psychological treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy, a substantial amount of patients do not recover. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been found to be effective in reducing relapse in recurrent depression, as well as lowering symptom levels in acute depression. The effectiveness of MBCT for chronic, treatment-resistant depression has only be studied in a few pilot trials. A large randomized controlled trial is necessary to examine the effectiveness of MBCT in reducing depressive symptoms in chronic, treatment-resistant depression. Methods/Design A randomized-controlled trial is conducted to compare MBCT with treatment-as-usual (TAU). Patients with chronic, treatment-resistant depression who have received antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy are included. Assessments take place at baseline and post intervention/TAU-period. The primary outcome are depressive symptoms. Secondary outcomes are: remission rates, quality of life, rumination, mindfulness skills and self-compassion. Patients in the TAU condition are offered to participate in the MBCT after the post TAU-period assessment. From all completers of the MBCT (MBCT condition and patients participating after the TAU-period), follow-up assessments are taken at three and six months after the completion of the MBCT. Discussion This trial will result in valuable information about the effectiveness of MBCT in chronic, treatment-resistant depressed patients who previously received antidepressant medication and psychological treatment.

BackgroundMajor depression is a common psychiatric disorder, frequently taking a chronic course. Despite provision of evidence-based treatments, including antidepressant medication and psychological treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy, a substantial amount of patients do not recover. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been found to be effective in reducing relapse in recurrent depression, as well as lowering symptom levels in acute depression. The effectiveness of MBCT for chronic, treatment-resistant depression has only be studied in a few pilot trials. A large randomized controlled trial is necessary to examine the effectiveness of MBCT in reducing depressive symptoms in chronic, treatment-resistant depression. Methods/Design A randomized-controlled trial is conducted to compare MBCT with treatment-as-usual (TAU). Patients with chronic, treatment-resistant depression who have received antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy are included. Assessments take place at baseline and post intervention/TAU-period. The primary outcome are depressive symptoms. Secondary outcomes are: remission rates, quality of life, rumination, mindfulness skills and self-compassion. Patients in the TAU condition are offered to participate in the MBCT after the post TAU-period assessment. From all completers of the MBCT (MBCT condition and patients participating after the TAU-period), follow-up assessments are taken at three and six months after the completion of the MBCT. Discussion This trial will result in valuable information about the effectiveness of MBCT in chronic, treatment-resistant depressed patients who previously received antidepressant medication and psychological treatment.

As mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) becomes an increasingly mainstream approach for recurrent depression, there is a growing need for practitioners who are able to teach MBCT. The requirements for being competent as a mindfulness-based teacher include personal meditation practice and at least a year of additional professional training. This study is the first to investigate the relationship between MBCT teacher competence and several key dimensions of MBCT treatment outcomes. Patients with recurrent depression in remission (N = 241) participated in a multi-centre trial of MBCT, provided by 15 teachers. Teacher competence was assessed using the Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI:TAC) based on two to four randomly selected video-recorded sessions of each of the 15 teachers, evaluated by 16 trained assessors. Results showed that teacher competence was not significantly associated with adherence (number of MBCT sessions attended), possible mechanisms of change (rumination, cognitive reactivity, mindfulness, and self-compassion), or key outcomes (depressive symptoms at post treatment and depressive relapse/recurrence during the 15-month follow-up). Thus, findings from the current study indicate no robust effects of teacher competence, as measured by the MBI:TAC, on possible mediators and outcome variables in MBCT for recurrent depression. Possible explanations are the standardized delivery of MBCT, the strong emphasis on self-reliance within the MBCT learning process, the importance of participant-related factors, the difficulties in assessing teacher competence, the absence of main treatment effects in terms of reducing depressive symptoms, and the relatively small selection of videotapes. Further work is required to systematically investigate these explanations.

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