Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 05/2011; 187(3):441-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.08.011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mindfulness- based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a meditation program based on an integration of Cognitive behavioural therapy and Mindfulness-based stress reduction. The aim of the present work is to review and conduct a meta-analysis of the current findings about the efficacy of MBCT for psychiatric patients. A literature search was undertaken using five electronic databases and references of retrieved articles. Main findings included the following: 1) MBCT in adjunct to usual care was significantly better than usual care alone for reducing major depression (MD) relapses in patients with three or more prior depressive episodes (4 studies), 2) MBCT plus gradual discontinuation of maintenance ADs was associated to similar relapse rates at 1year as compared with continuation of maintenance antidepressants (1 study), 3) the augmentation of MBCT could be useful for reducing residual depressive symptoms in patients with MD (2 studies) and for reducing anxiety symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder in remission (1 study) and in patients with some anxiety disorders (2 studies). However, several methodological shortcomings including small sample sizes, non-randomized design of some studies and the absence of studies comparing MBCT to control groups designed to distinguish specific from non-specific effects of such practice underscore the necessity for further research.

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    ABSTRACT: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) showed efficacy for currently depressed patients. However, most of the available studies suffer from important methodological shortcomings, including the lack of adequate control groups. The present study aims to compare MBCT with a psycho-educational control group designed to be structurally equivalent to the MBCT program but excluding the main putative "active ingredient" of MBCT (i.e., mindfulness meditation practice) for the treatment of patients with major depression (MD) who did not achieve remission following at least 8 weeks of antidepressant treatment. Out of 106 screened subjects, 43 were randomized to receive MBCT or psycho-education and were prospectively followed for 26 weeks. MD severity was assessed with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Measures of anxiety, mindfulness, and quality of life were also included. All assessments were performed at baseline, 4, 8, 17 and 26-weeks. Both HAM-D and BDI scores, as well as quality of life and mindfulness scores, showed higher improvements, which were particularly evident over the long-term period, in the MBCT group than in the psycho-education group. Although limited by a small sample size, the results of this study suggest the superiority of MBCT over psycho-education for non-remitted MD subjects. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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