LONG-TERM OUTCOME OF MINDFULNESS-BASED COGNITIVE THERAPY IN RECURRENTLY DEPRESSED PATIENTS WITH AND WITHOUT A DEPRESSIVE EPISODE AT BASELINE


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Abstract

Background:In a previous randomized controlled trial in patients with three or more previous depressive episodes, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) appeared to be equally effective in those who were depressed and those who were in remission at the start of the trial.[1]Aim:The aim of this study is to compare the 1-year outcome of MBCT in 124 remitted and 58 depressed patients who participated in the original trial and who were all offered MBCT either immediately or after a waiting period of 3 months.Methods:The course of depressive symptoms, rumination, mindfulness skills, and quality of life over the course of treatment and the 1-year follow-up period was analyzed. Linear mixed modeling was used to compare the outcome between remitted and depressed patients at baseline.Results:In the whole sample, levels of depression and rumination decreased and mindfulness and quality of life increased over treatment. Levels of depressive symptoms, mindfulness, and quality of life remained stable over the 1-year follow-up period. Rumination further decreased. Remitted and depressed patients at the start of the trial did not differ in terms of outcome during or after treatment.Conclusions:Long-term outcome after MBCT in depressed patients was comparable to those who were in remission at the start of the trial. These findings lend further support to the notion that recurrent depressed patients meeting the criteria of a depressive episode do not need to be excluded from MBCT.

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