People who had at least one episode of depression have a higher chance of recurrence, even though their symptoms remain controlled. Recurrent episodes of depression are severe, leading to psychological effects, suicidal propensity and other adverse events.
Since depression and its recurrence have such issues, a cure for preventing relapse of depressive symptoms remains crucial. Many studies have been conducted on psychiatric therapies that offer relief from major depression.
One such psychiatric treatment is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). The MBCT program involves a group session of two hours a week for eight weeks and a full-day class on the fifth week.
The results were compared to other standard depression treatments such as antidepressants. After 60 weeks follow-up period, researchers found that about 38% of participants who received MBCT had a depressive relapse while 49% of those who did not receive MBCT had a relapse.
People who received MBCT were 31% less likely to relapse during the 60-week follow-up compared with those who did not receive MBCT. The research was published in the Journal JAMA Psychiatry.
"There is a small but significant benefit of MBCT when delivered alongside or as an alternative to antidepressants, in terms of reduced rates of relapse," said Willem Kuyken, lead author of the study.
"While MBCT is not a panacea, it does clearly offer those with a substantial history of depression a new approach to learning skills to stay well in the long term. It offers people a safe and empowering treatment choice alongside other mainstay approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and maintenance antidepressants."