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Effects of a 12-Week Mindfulness, Compassion, and Loving Kindness Program on Chronic Depression: A Pilot Within-Subjects Wait-List Controlled Trial

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In this pilot study, N = 11 patients suffering from chronic depression were treated in a 12-week group program consisting of basic mindfulness exercises from Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and compassion exercises from Compassion Focused Therapy and Loving Kindness Meditation. In a 3-month waiting period prior to treatment, depression symptoms both in self-report and clinician rating did not change significantly. After treatment, depression severity was significantly reduced. After a 3-month follow-up, the symptoms further improved, with almost large effect sizes being observed in primary outcome measures.

Changes in emotion regulation styles reflected by a significant increase in acceptance and significant decrease in suppression of emotions were observed at follow-up. Rumination about oneself was also significantly reduced at follow-up. Compassionate love and mindfulness were increased at follow-up, no effects were found on the Self-Compassion Scale and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Given further confirming studies for this approach, it might improve treatment options for patients suffering from chronic depression.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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