Mindfulness meditation training helps reduce the incidence of major depression and can also improve depression symptoms among primary care patients with subthreshold depression.
A randomized controlled trial of adults with subthreshold depression compared a usual care group in which there was no psychological intervention (n=116) with a behavioral activation group focused on mindfulness meditation (n=115).
Intervention participants were invited to attend weekly two-hour mindfulness training sessions for eight consecutive weeks.
Mindfulness training also had a small effect in reducing depression symptoms (between-group mean difference = 3.85).
Other secondary outcomes demonstrated no significant change.
The authors suggest that, for patients with subthreshold depression who have not had a major depressive episode in the past six months, mindfulness training is a feasible method of preventing major depression.
The authors plan future research into the cost-effectiveness, health service use implications, and acceptability of mindfulness training.