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Unformatted text preview: s: The qualitative data indicated that mindfulness training was both acceptable and beneficial
to the majority of patients. For many of the participants, being in a group was an important
normalising and validating experience. However most of the group believed the course was too
short and thought that some form of follow up was essential. More than half the patients continued
to apply mindfulness techniques three months after the course had ended. A minority of patients
continued to experience significant levels of psychological distress, particularly anxiety.
Statistically significant reductions in mean depression and anxiety scores were observed; the mean
pre-course depression score was 35.7 and post-course score was 17.8 (p = 0.001). A similar
reduction was noted for anxiety with a mean pre-course anxiety score of 32.0 and mean post
course score of 20.5 (p = 0.039). Overall 8/11 (72%) patients showed improvements in BDI and 7/
11 (63%) patients showed improvements in BAI. In general the results of the qualitative analysis
agreed well with the quantitative changes in depression and anxiety reported.
Conclusion: The results of this exploratory mixed methods study suggest that mindfulness based
cognitive therapy may have a role to play in treating active depression and anxiety in primary care. Page 1 of 14
(page number not for citation purposes) BMC Psychiatry 2006, 6:14 Background
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an innovative, empirically validated treatment program designed
to prevent relapse in people who have recovered from
depression . Two randomised controlled trials have
found that MBCT, when taught to patients in the remission phase, reduced the rate of relapsing depression, in
patients with a history of 3 or more episodes of depression, by about 50% [2,3]. Kingston et al, have also
recently applied MBCT to patients with active moderate
severity depression in secondary care. In a controlled trial
they found improvements in depression scores and reductions in rumination scores .
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