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07-08-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 10/2020 Open Access

Mindfulness 10/2020

Mindfulness and Affect During Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Recurrent Depression: an Autoregressive Latent Trajectory Analysis

Mindfulness > Uitgave 10/2020
Marleen J. ter Avest, Corina U. Greven, Marloes J. Huijbers, Tom F. Wilderjans, Anne E. M. Speckens, Philip Spinhoven
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-020-01453-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Gaining knowledge of dynamic processes of mechanisms underlying mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for recurrent depression could help to improve treatment efficacy. The current study examined the overall course and week-to-week associations of mindfulness and positive/negative affect during MBCT for recurrent depression.


Using data from the MOMENT study, 235 patients with recurrent depression in (partial) remission allocated to MBCT were included. Prior to each MBCT session, self-reports were obtained on mindfulness, positive affect, and negative affect.


Autoregressive latent trajectory (ALT) modeling revealed that, across the MBCT course, larger increases in mindfulness were associated with larger increases in positive affect (r = .80, p < .050). Higher general levels of negative affect were associated with smaller increases in mindfulness over time (r = −.26, p < .001). Week-to-week effects showed no reciprocal cross-lagged effects between mindfulness and positive affect or negative affect, except for positive affect at session 2 which was positively associated with mindfulness at session 3 (r = .11, p < .050).


The current study supports a positive association in strength of increase between mindfulness and positive affect, while higher general levels of negative affect might be associated with smaller increases of mindfulness during MBCT for recurrent depression. For future research, experience sampling methods (ESMs) are recommended to capture dynamics on a smaller time scale. ALT modeling techniques are advised to be better able to interpret the processes of stability and change during MBCT for recurrent depression.

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