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Dismantling mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for recurrent depression implicates lack of differential efficacy for mindfulness training
  1. Eric L Garland
  1. College of Social Work and Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  1. Correspondence to Eric L Garland, eric.garland{at}

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What is already known on this topic?

Risk of relapse among patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder is high (>50% of those recovering from a first episode of depression, and approximately 80% of those with a history of two or more episodes),1 and this risk increases with each successive depressive episode.2 Several clinical trials have demonstrated that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) significantly reduces relapse risk among patients with three or more prior depressive episodes.3 Yet, MBCT contains multiple therapeutic elements, and the specific efficacy of the mindfulness training element in MBCT is unknown.

What does this paper add?

  • This is the largest investigation of MBCT to date, and the first to use an active psychological treatment group as a control. By employing a dismantling design that compared MBCT to cognitive psychological education (CPE) and treatment-as-usual (TAU) control groups, this study sought to disentangle the specific effect of mindfulness training from psychoeducation and non-specific therapeutic factors.

  • The use of a dismantling design with a well-matched CPE control group comprised all of …

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  • Competing interests None.