Question: In adults of working age with moderate to severe depression (in a community setting) what is the efficacy of MBCT, compared with CBT and/or antidepressants in reducing relapse rates and/or improving global functioning and quality of life?


A review suggested that MBCT is more effective than treatment as usual and at least as effective as anti-depressant medication in preventing relapses in patients with major depressive disorder, especially in patients with three more previous relapses. One study included in the review suggested that MBCT is cost-effective with the cost of MBCT similar to that of anti-depressants. One small RCT judged at high risk of bias suggested that the effects of MBCT are similar to those of CBT. The efficacy of MBCT compared to CBT therefore requires further investigation in larger, high quality studies. Further studies are also required to confirm the effect of MBCT compared to antidepressants, and to investigate the effect of MBCT in patients with two or fewer previous relapses.

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