an exploratory mixed methods study of the acceptability and effectiveness of mindfulness

Depression and anxiety are amongst the commonest

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Unformatted text preview: n and anxiety are amongst the commonest reasons for consultation in UK general practice [5,6]. The problem of relapse in depression is a significant one and for many individuals depression is a chronic relapsing condition. In a recent review on the natural history of depression Judd concludes that "unipolar depression is a chronic and life long illness, the risk of repeated episodes exceeds 80% and patients will experience an average of 4 lifetime major depressive episodes of 20 weeks duration" [7]. While a high percentage of first episodes of depression are triggered by a major life event, further episodes are less likely to have such a clear precipitant [8]. A ruminative thinking style in response to low mood appears to be a key feature in relapsing depression [9,10]. Nolen-Hoeksema defines rumination as 'behaviours and thoughts that focus one's attention on one's depressive symptoms and on the implications of those symptoms' [9]. Ruminative thinking often involves extended pondering over personal shortcomings and problematic situations and perpetuates rather than alleviates the depressed state [11]. MBCT teaches participants to recognise and let go of ruminative thinking about negative affect and instead participants are encouraged to simply remain open to what is there – to experience it fully, without aversion or attachment. Hence mindfulness training involves an attitudinal shift toward difficult experience. The heart of MBCT lies in acquainting patients with the modes of mind that often characterize mood disorders while simultaneously inviting them to develop a new relationship to these modes. Patients learn to view thoughts as events in the mind, independent of their content and emotional charge. While the two major studies cited above [2,3] have focused on patients who have recovered from depression, it is not known whether MBCT may have a wider role to play in treating chronic mood disorders during their active phase, which is when patients tend to seek help from primary ca...
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This note was uploaded on 03/12/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor H during the Spring '11 term at ENGECON University.

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