Dutch Study Reports Long-term Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy in Patients with Diabetes

Dutch Study Reports Long-term Effectiveness of Mindfulness-based Psychotherapy in Patients with Diabetes

In a recent study published in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic, a team of Dutch researchers led by professor Paul Emmelkamp assessed the long-term clinical outcomes of psychotherapy in patients with diabetes.

Patients with diabetes often report depressive symptoms, a comorbidity that has a negative impact in clinical outcomes and mortality. The burden of depression is increased by the fact that it is a chronic and progressive condition, with high rates of relapse. Recently, evidence has shown that Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is effective and beneficial as a psychological treatment for patients with depressive symptoms. The method is also beneficial for relapse prevention.

The study was focused on the long-term effectiveness of both treatment outcomes. The researchers postulated that after a 9 months treatment with MBCT and CBT there would be a reduction in depressive symptoms. Study participants were 94 adults patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes, who also had depressive symptoms as assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) score ≥14.

The researchers randomized patients to receive treatment with either MBCT or CBT or a waiting list condition. Following a waiting period, patients who still suffered from depressive symptoms (n=28) were again subject to randomization to receive either MBCT or CBT and combined with the original sample, which involved a sample of 91 patients. Of these 45 received MBCT and 46 received CBT.

Of the total 91 patients in the study who received MBCT and CBT, 12 patients from each of the groups completed less than 6 of the 8 sessions, and for this reason, were not included in the final analysis.

Results revealed that both MBCT and CBT have persistent beneficial impact on depressive symptomatology and related symptoms, validating the evidence from previous researches regarding the long-term clinical outcomes of either MBCT or CBT.

Both psychotherapy methods (MBCT and CBT) are effective in treating depressive symptoms in a variety of clinical populations.

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