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Behav Res Ther. 2014 Dec;63:83-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2014.09.004. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Web-based Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for reducing residual depressive symptoms: An open trial and quasi-experimental comparison to propensity score matched controls.

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Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. Electronic address:
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Institute for Health Research, USA.
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.
Department of Mathematics, West Chester University, USA.
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada.


Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been shown to effectively prevent relapse and reduce residual depressive symptoms (RDS), yet it faces barriers to dissemination. The present study examined Mindful Mood Balance (MMB), the first web-based approach to deliver the core content of MBCT. Of the 107 recurrently depressed individuals screened, 100 elected to enroll in the study and received MMB in an 8-session open trial with 6-month follow-up. Outcomes included depressive symptom severity, rumination and mindful awareness, and program engagement. A quasi-experimental comparison between MMB participants and propensity matched case-controls receiving usual depression care (UDC) (N = 100) also was conducted. The full sample and the subgroup with residual depressive symptoms (N = 42) showed significantly reduced depressive severity, which was sustained over six months, and improvement on rumination and mindfulness. Examination of acceptability of MMB indicated that 42% of participants within the full sample and 36% of the RDS subgroup completed all 8 sessions and 53% within the full sample and 50% within the RDS subgroup completed at least 4 sessions, and that participants engaged with daily mindfulness practice. MMB also was associated with significant reduction in RDS severity as compared to quasi-experimental propensity matched controls. Although the use of a non-randomized design, with potential unmeasured differences between groups, and short interval of clinical follow-up were limitations, findings from this study support the web-based delivery of MBCT and suggest clinical benefits for participants with histories of depression and with RDS, relative to those receiving usual care alone.


Dissemination; Major depressive disorder; Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy; Residual depressive symptoms; Web-based treatments

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