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Title: 'Every little helps' : effects of brief mindfulness or relaxation interventions in patients with acute depression
Author: Guerreiro Da Costa, Ana
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 8796
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Introduction: Depression can be a very debilitating condition and can take a persistent course. Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI) have shown benefits for reducing risk of relapse and current depression. However, despite a strong body of evidence, there are currently few studies that have investigated the relative efficacy of MBI compared with an active control intervention. Moreover, little is known about purported mechanisms of action in MBI. The present study aimed to examine the effects of a brief mindfulness intervention as compared to a relaxation intervention in a sample of depressed patients. In addition, the study aimed to investigate which psychological variables contribute to changes in symptoms and mood. Method: Forty depressed patients (DPs) were recruited from the waiting list of IAPT services. Twenty participants were randomly allocated to a mindfulness intervention and 20 to a relaxation intervention. Participants (n= 40) attended two face-to-face assessments one week apart (active treatment phase), and had a follow-up one week later (n= 37) (follow-up phase). Participants were taught the intervention (mindfulness or relaxation) in the first assessment and were asked to practise it daily over the following week. Depressive symptoms, cognitive functioning, and emotion regulation were assessed at pre, post-intervention and follow-up. Results: From pre to post-intervention, self-reported symptoms of depression significantly decreased, cognitive functioning and emotion regulation significantly increased, changes were maintained at follow-up, but no differences between the two groups were found. Decentering and mindfulness were significant predictors of changes in depressive symptoms during the active and follow-up phases of treatment, respectively. Discussion: Both mindfulness and relaxation interventions reduced depression and enhanced cognitive functioning, which points to common elements between the two interventions. Decentering and mindfulness were common predictors of change. The findings have clear clinical implications, but also raise challenges regarding selecting a suitable active comparison treatment for mindfulness research.
Supervisor: Chadwick, Paul ; Barnhofer, Thorsten Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available