Kuyken, W. et al. (2016)
JAMA Psychiatry, 73(6): 565

Relapse prevention is one of the most pressing public health problems involving those with recurrent and chronic depression. To date, antidepressant medication is the first-line treatment to prevent relapse. However, recent efforts to find a non-pharmacological intervention have seen important developments, culminating in a 2016 meta analysis of data collected on 1,258 patients. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The authors found that, compared to usual care, those who received mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) had a significantly reduced risk of relapse over a 60-week follow-up period. The findings held up regardless of sociodemographic and psychiatric factors (i.e., age, sex, education, relationship status; age at onset, number of previous episodes of depression). The greater the severity of depressive symptoms prior to treatment, the larger the effect size of MBCT compared to other treatments.
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MBCT combines mindfulness training (meditation, body scanning, and breathing exercises) with cognitive therapy elements to teach psychological skills to address negative thought patterns associated with depression relapse. This study provides a potential avenue for future non-pharmacological depression intervention research.