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Mindfulness Therapy May Help Ease Recurrent Depression

Particularly for those with more pronounced residual symptoms, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help reduce the risk of repeated episodes of depression, according to a study published online April 27 in JAMA Psychiatry.

A team led by Willem Kuyken, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, analyzed the findings of nine published studies. The research included a total of 1,258 patients with a history of depression. The studies compared the effectiveness of mindfulness therapy against usual depression care and other active treatments, including antidepressants.

The researchers found that after 60 weeks of follow-up, patients who received mindfulness therapy were less likely to have undergone a relapse of depression than those who received usual care, and had about the same risk of those who received other active treatments. The study authors also believe that mindfulness therapy may provide greater benefits than other treatments for patients with more severe depression.

While this review is the most comprehensive analysis of data to date, it “also raises many questions, and the limited nature of the extant evidence underscores the critical need for additional research,” Richard Davidson, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

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