Category: Treatment - Mindfulness

Symposium

Cognitive and Mood Reactivity and Relapse to Depression Following Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

Sunday, November 19
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Indigo Ballroom A, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Mindfulness
Presentation Type: Symposium

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a significant public health problem, in part due to its chronic and relapsing course (Greenberg et al., 2003). Cognitive reactivity, or a mood-induced increase in depressogenic cognition (Lau, Segal, & Williams, 2004) is a proposed risk factor for relapse to depression (Segal et al., 2006). Research has also shown that mood reactivity (MR), or the magnitude of change of self-reported sad mood following a negative mood induction, predicts time to depressive relapse (van Rijsbergen et al., 2013). 

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an efficacious intervention specifically designed to reduce relapse to MDD (Piet & Hougaard, 2011). However, less research has examined mediators of treatment outcome such as cognitive or mood reactivity. Evidence suggests that treatment with MBCT reduced depressive symptoms and this effect was mediated by decreases in CR (Raes et al., 2009); however, findings are mixed as to whether CR mediates relapse (Kuyken et al., 2010). Currently, it is unclear whether changes in MR are related to depressive symptoms and risk of relapse following MBCT. 

This study evaluated CR and MR as mechanisms of change following MBCT. Individuals with remitted MDD (N=235) were randomized to either an 8-week MBCT, Relaxation Therapy, or treatment as usual (TAU) group. CR and MR were assessed pre and post treatment. CR was assessed using the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale (DAS; Weissman, 1979) before and after a sad-mood induction. A second measure of CR, the Leiden Index of Depression-Revised (LEIDS-R; Van der Does & Williams, 2003) was also used. MR was assessed using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) before and after a sad-mood induction. 

Results indicate that CR pre- and post-treatment did not predict change in depressive symptoms nor relapse. Participants who received MBCT and had reductions in MR had significantly lower risk of relapse compared to those who received the Relaxation Therapy (p = .02) as well as the TAU controls (p = .01). The implications of the current findings with respect to mechanisms predicting relapse to depression and the efficacy of MBCT will be discussed.

Colin M. Bosma

Graduate Student
University of Maine

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