Breakthrough: This treatment could battle depression

Breakthrough: This treatment could battle depression

The new study shows that mindfulness-based therapy could be an important option for depressed people.

A groundbreaking new study has found evidence that a new treatment could be an effective tool in the battle against depression.

Scientists have found that mindfulness therapy may be key in reducing repeated bouts of depression, according to a JAMA Network Journals statement, where the study was published.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy aims to help depressed patients develop skills to better cope with thoughts and emotions. The study analyzed nine studies including 1,300 patients with a history of depression, and compared the effectiveness of this therapy against standard depression care.

After 60 weeks, those with mindfulness therapy were less likely to have a depressive relapse than those who had standard depression care.

It is not a completely comprehensive study and more research will need to be done, but it does raise some interesting questions and provide a new alternative to those suffering from depression.

“Mindfulness practices were not originally developed as therapeutic treatments,” Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in the statement. “They emerged originally in contemplative traditions for the purposes of cultivating well-being and virtue. The questions of whether and how they might be helpful in alleviating symptoms of depression and other related psychopathologies are quite new, and the evidence base is in its embryonic stage. To my knowledge, the article by Kuyken et al is the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date to provide evidence for the effectiveness of MBCT in the prevention of depressive relapse. However, the article also raises many questions, and the limited nature of the extant evidence underscores the critical need for additional research.”

The authors recommended that future trials consider an active control group and use “use comparable primary and secondary outcomes, use longer follow-ups, report treatment fidelity, collect key background variables” to ensure a more comprehensive result.

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