Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Antidepressants

There are many unhappy about taking antidepressants long term. An effective alternative is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy. (MBCT). This study confirms the effectiveness of MBCT. I have many posts on mindfulness. Search “mindfulness” on my web-site for these previous blogs.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and Antidepressants

Study compares drug taper plus MBCT to maintenance treatment

May 5, 2015

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy with support to taper or discontinue antidepressant treatment (MBCT-TS) is neither superior nor inferior to maintenance antidepressant treatment for preventing a depressive relapse, according to the PREVENT trial.

Researchers randomized 424 patients to MBCT-TS or maintenance therapy and found no difference in time to relapse or recurrence of depression between the two groups. Rates of adverse affects were similar in both groups.

The study authors note that both treatments were associated with positive outcomes regarding relapse or recurrence, residual depressive symptoms, and quality of life.

Citation: Kuyken W, Hayes R, Barrett B, et al. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (PREVENT): a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2015. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62222-4.

Commentary: Patients with recurrent depression have a 50% to 80% lifetime rate of depression relapse, making a strategy for preventing relapse an important part of their care. Current recommendations suggest long-term continuation of antidepressant treatment to decrease recurrence by 50 to 60%.1 The problem is that antidepressant medication only works for as long as you take it, and many people do not want to be on antidepressants long-term. A previous study compared MBCT-TS versus continuation of antidepressant medication versus placebo and showed relapse rates of 28%, 27%, and 71% respectively,2 showing that both MBCT-TS and antidepressant medication substantially decrease the rate of depression relapse. This study gives further evidence that MBCT-TS is an excellent alternative to antidepressant medication for decreasing depression relapse. —Neil Skolnik, MD

About Dr Colin Holloway

Gp interested in natural hormone treatment for men and women of all ages

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