That’s the conclusion from this study at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, in Ontario.
First, the details.
- 160 adults patients with major depressive disorder and a minimum of 2 past episodes were included in the study.
- Of these, 84 achieved remission and were assigned to 1 of the 3 treatment groups.
- Discontinued their antidepressants and attended 8 weekly group sessions of Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)
- Continued their therapeutic dose of antidepressant medication
- Discontinued active medication and were switched to placebo
- Relapse was defined as a return, for at least 2 weeks, of symptoms sufficient to meet the criteria for major depression on module A of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV.
And, the results.
- There was no significant difference in relapse rates: 38% for MBCT, 46% for antidepressant maintenance, 60% for placebo.
- MBCT and antidepressant maintenance significantly reduced the risk for relapse in unstable remitters (ie, responders to treatment) compared to placebo.
- For stable remitters, there was no significant difference in relapse rates between the 3 groups: 62% for MBCT, 59% for antidepressant maintenance, and 50% for placebo
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “For those unwilling or unable to tolerate maintenance antidepressant treatment, MBCT offers equal protection from relapse during an 18-month period.”
The authors recommend to continue at least 1 long-term active treatment (MBCT or antidepressants) in unstable remitters.
Background on mindfulness is here.
12/10/10 21:20 JR