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Group Mindfulness Treatment Effective for Depression, Anxiety

Update Date: Nov 28, 2014 11:27 AM EST

Group mindfulness treatment can be effective for patients with depression and anxiety, a new study found. Researchers reported that this form of treatment yielded similar results as individual cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

For this study, the team from Lund University in Sweden and Region Skåne trained two instructors in group mindfulness treatment at 16 primary health care centers. The training process took six days.

At each center, patients suffering from depression, anxiety or reactions to stress were randomly assigned to either group mindfulness treatment or individual CBT. The group mindfulness treatment was carried out in groups of about 10 patients. All patients were instructed to keep a diary and were given a private training program.

After eight-weeks, a total of 215 patients completed the study. Patients from both groups reported a decrease in their symptoms. There were no statistical differences between group mindfulness treatment and individual CBT.

"The study's results indicate that group mindfulness treatment, conducted by certified instructors in primary health care, is as effective a treatment method as individual CBT for treating depression and anxiety", said Jan Sundquist according to Medical Xpress. "This means that group mindfulness treatment should be considered as an alternative to individual psychotherapy, especially at primary health care centers that can't offer everyone individual therapy".

The study, "Mindfulness group therapy in primary care patients with depression, anxiety and stress and adjustment disorders: randomized controlled trial," was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

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