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Behav Cogn Psychother. 2010 Oct;38(5):561-76. doi: 10.1017/S135246581000010X. Epub 2010 Apr 7.

The long-term effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy as a relapse prevention treatment for major depressive disorder.

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School of Psychology, Level 4, Hughes Building, The University of Adelaide,South Australia 5005,



Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is a relapse prevention treatment for major depressive disorder.


An observational clinical audit of 39 participants explored the long-term effects of MBCT using standardized measures of depression (BDI-II), rumination (RSS), and mindfulness (MAAS).


MBCT was associated with statistically significant reductions in depression from pre to post treatment. Gains were maintained over time (Group 1, 1-12 months, p = .002; Group 2, 13-24 months, p = .001; Group 3, 25-34 months, p = .04). Depression scores in Group 3 did begin to worsen, yet were still within the mild range of the BDI-II. Treatment variables such as attendance at "booster" sessions and ongoing mindfulness practice correlated with better depression outcomes (p = .003 and p = .03 respectively). There was a strong negative correlation between rumination and mindful attention (p < .001), consistent with a proposed mechanism of metacognition in the efficacy of MBCT.


It is suggested that ongoing MBCT skills and practice may be important for relapse prevention over the longer term. Larger randomized studies of the mechanisms of MBCT with longer follow-up periods are recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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