Research: LITTLE and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 187

Abstract

LITTLE and COLLEAGUES, William Alanson White Institute and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY, USA. suzannelittlephd@mac.com piloted a 24-week multimodal group treatment program to assess whether psychoeducation, lifestyle modification, meditation, and mind/body skills training would reduce symptomatology and improve overall balance and well-being in nonmedicated patients with moderate depression.

Background

Chronic depression is a highly debilitating psychobiological disorder that affects mind, body, and spirit. The need for effective integrative treatments for depression is fuelled by high recurrence and relapse rates, as well as growing consumer demand for natural and holistic approaches that recognize depression is a systemic problem.

Methodology

A 24-week multimodal group treatment program was piloted to assess whether psychoeducation, lifestyle modification, meditation, and mind/body skills training would reduce symptomatology and improve overall balance and well-being in nonmedicated patients with moderate depression. The group treatment was conducted in a healing space associated with an academic integrative medicine center. Fourteen adult patients (mean age = 51.7 years) participated in two treatment groups (seven patients per group). Treatment efficacy was evaluated by changes on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), the primary outcome measure, completed at pre-treatment (week zero), posttreatment (week 12), and two follow-up points (weeks 16 and 24). Positive affect and overall well-being were assessed using the Symptom Checklist-90 Revised, the Life Orientation Test, the Short Form Health Survey-12, and the Psychological Well-Being Index.

Results

Comparisons of pretreatment and posttreatment scores on the BDI-II showed a clinically significant decline in depressed mood and negative affect (P < .001), as well as significant improvement across the positive affect and well-being measures.

Conclusion

This outcome, which was statistically sustained for six months, suggests that a multimodal holistic mind/body group approach can benefit a segment of the chronically depressed population.

References

Little SA, Kligler B, Homel P, Belisle SS and Merrell W. Multimodal mind/body group therapy for chronic depression: a pilot study. Explore: The Journal of Science & Healing. 5(6): 330-7. Nov-Dec 2009.

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