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Major depressive disorder is often chronic and characterized by relapse and recurrence despite successful treatments to induce remission. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed as a means of preventing relapse for individuals in remission using cognitive interventions. In addition, MBCT has preliminarily been found to be useful in treating active depression. This current investigation is unique in evaluating the long-term outcome of individuals with active depression who achieved remission with MBCT. Eighteen participants who achieved remission after an 8-week MBCT group were seen for evaluation at a mean follow-up interval of 48.7 months (SD = 10.2) after completing treatment. The current study shows that in these participants, the gains achieved after the initial treatment including remission of depression, decreased rumination, decreased anxiety, and increased mindfulness continued for up to 58.9 months of follow-up. The data suggest that all levels of depression from less recurrent and mild to more recurrent and severe were responsive to MBCT. The average number of minutes per week of continued practice in our cohort was 210, but the number of minutes of practice did not correlate with depression outcomes. MBCT's effects may be more related to regularity of practice than specific quantity. This study provides a preliminary exploration of MBCT's long-term effects, which can aid in future research with a typically chronic illness.
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- Preliminary Long-Term Follow-up of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy-Induced Remission of Depression
- Springer US