Mindfulness just as effective as CBT for a broad range of psychiatric symptoms

April 13, 2017, Lund University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Mindfulness group therapy has an equally positive effect as individual CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for the treatment of a wide range of psychiatric symptoms in patients with depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders. Researchers made the finding in a new study from the Center for Primary Healthcare Research (CPF) in Malmö, which is a collaboration between Lund University in Sweden and Region Skåne.

The need for psychotherapy in primary healthcare is on the increase for patients who are suffering with a variety of . However, individual is costly and the supply does not meet the demand. Group therapy with mindfulness can be a viable alternative treatment, which at the same will free up resources in healthcare to be used more efficiently.

"Our new research shows that mindfulness group therapy has the equivalent effect as individual CBT for a wide range of psychiatric symptoms that are common among this patient group," says Professor Jan Sundquist, who led the research group in the study which has been published in European Psychiatry.

He adds, "We have shown in a previous study that mindfulness group therapy is just as effective as individual CBT for the treatment of typical depression and anxiety symptoms; something we also observed in the new study."

The study group included 215 patients with depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders. Patients were recruited from 16 different healthcare centres across Scania in southern Sweden for the eight-week randomised controlled trial. Researchers studied a broad range of (measured by several types of questionnaires, e.g. Symptom Checklist-90, SCL-90) and how these symptoms changed during the treatment, either with mindfulness in group therapy or individual CBT.

The results showed that the average score for all 15 different subscales/indexes in the various questionnaires decreased significantly in both scales. The various scales measured, among others, symptoms of depression, general anxiety, stress and somatization, obsessive-compulsive disorder, interpersonal sensitivity, aggression, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation and psychoticism. There was no difference in treatment effect between the two groups.

"As mental illnesses are increasing at a very fast rate it is absolutely essential to expand the treatment alternatives for this patient group in . Our view is that the scarce resources should be partly reallocated to mindfulness therapy so that the limited availability of individual psychotherapy can be utilised in an optimal fashion," concludes Professor Sundquist.

Explore further: Mindfulness treatment as effective as CBT for depression and anxiety

More information: J. Sundquist et al, The effect of mindfulness group therapy on a broad range of psychiatric symptoms: A randomised controlled trial in primary health care, European Psychiatry (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.01.328

Related Stories

Mindfulness treatment as effective as CBT for depression and anxiety

November 27, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Group mindfulness treatment is as effective as individual cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in patients with depression and anxiety, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden and Region ...

Mindfulness-based depression therapy reduces health care visits

August 21, 2014
A mindfulness-based therapy for depression has the added benefit of reducing health-care visits among patients who often see their family doctors, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) ...

Mindfulness at school reduces likelihood of depression-related symptoms in adolescents

March 15, 2013
Secondary school students who follow an in-class mindfulness program report reduced indications of depression, anxiety and stress up to six months later. Moreover, these students were less likely to develop pronounced depression-like ...

Mindfulness, cognitive therapy beneficial in diabetes

June 11, 2014
(HealthDay)—For patients with diabetes and depressive symptoms, individual mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and individual cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) improve depressive symptoms, according to a study published ...

Mindfulness meditation training lowers biomarkers of stress response in anxiety disorder

January 24, 2017
Mindfulness meditation is an increasingly popular treatment for anxiety, but testing its effectiveness in a convincing way has been difficult. Now a rigorously designed, NIH-sponsored clinical trial led by a Georgetown University ...

Study shows benefit of art therapy in reducing psychological problems in Syrian refugee children

June 30, 2016
Group art therapy shows promise in reducing a wide range of psychological symptoms commonly experienced by refugee children, according to a pilot study of Syrian refugee children living in Turkey, published in the journal, ...

Recommended for you

Psychiatric disorders share an underlying genetic basis

June 21, 2018
Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder often run in families. In a new international collaboration, researchers explored the genetic connections between these and other disorders of the brain at ...

One year of school comes with an IQ bump, meta-analysis shows

June 21, 2018
A year of schooling leaves students with new knowledge, and it also equates with a small but noticeable increase to students' IQ, according to a systematic meta-analysis published in Psychological Science, a journal of the ...

Ketamine acts fast to treat depression and its effects last—but how?

June 21, 2018
In contrast to most antidepressant medications, which can take several weeks to reduce depressive symptoms, ketamine—a commonly used veterinary anesthetic—can lift a person out of a deep depression within minutes of its ...

Mindful movement may help lower stress, anxiety

June 21, 2018
Taking a walk may be a good opportunity to mentally review your to-do list, but using the time to instead be more mindful of your breathing and surroundings may help boost your wellbeing, according to researchers.

New study debunks Dale Carnegie advice to 'put yourself in their shoes'

June 21, 2018
Putting yourself in someone else's shoes and relying on intuition or "gut instinct" isn't an accurate way to determine what they're thinking or feeling," say researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), the ...

Brain tingles—first study of its kind reveals physiological benefits of ASMR

June 21, 2018
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) – the relaxing 'brain tingles' experienced by some people in response to specific triggers, such as whispering, tapping and slow hand movements – may have benefits for both ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.