Mindfulness-Based CBT Helps with Depression & Anxiety
Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of Bologna in Italy performed a meta-analysis to see if Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy or MBCT – a meditation program based on integrating cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness-based stress reduction - had a positive impact on psychiatric conditions.
A literature search was undertaken using five electronic databases and references of retrieved articles. Main findings included the following:
- MBCT as an adjunct to usual care was significantly better than usual care alone for reducing major depression relapses in patients with three or more prior depressive episodes (4 studies);
- MBCT plus gradual discontinuation of maintenance antidepressants was associated with similar relapse rates at 1 year as compared with continuation of maintenance antidepressants (1 study)
- the addition of MBCT could be useful for reducing residual depressive symptoms in patients with major depression (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 of the studies and the absence of studies comparing MBCT to control groups underscore the necessity for further research.
Citation: Chiesa A, Serretti A. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for psychiatric disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychiatry Res. 2011 May 30;187(3):441-53. Epub 2010 Sep 16. [email protected]