The feasibility and effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for mixed diagnosis patients in primary care: a pilot study

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Background: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is an intervention developed for the prevention of recurrent depression which is now being applied to widening numbers of clinical populations. Despite evidence for its effectiveness in preventing relapse in depression, less is known about its efficacy within routine clinical practice for groups of patients with more varied mental health problems, despite this being a potentially promising context for its application.

Aims: This pilot study aimed to investigate whether MBCT would be feasible and effective when delivered in a primary care context for patients who are vulnerable to recurrent depression and anxiety.

Results: Attrition from the programme was low and both attendance and engagement with home practices (during and after the intervention) were comparable with or higher than those observed in the existing literature. Improvements in self-reported depression, anxiety, rumination, self-compassion and well-being were evident over the 8-week programme and at 6-month post intervention follow-up.

Conclusions: Despite limitations in terms of sample size and the absence of a control group, the results demonstrate that the promising research results of MBCT for depression are transferable from a research to a practice setting, and demonstrate that it may be an effective and feasible intervention when delivered in a primary care setting for a range of mental health problems.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Officer 2: Director CMRP, School of Psychology, Bangor University, UK 3: Lecturer and Research Tutor Doctorate in Clinical Psychology Programme, University of Liverpool, UK 4: Head of Professional and Personal Programmes, CMRP, School of Psychology, Bangor University, UK 5: General Practitioner, Caernarfon, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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