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Mindfulness-based intervention improves depressive symptoms in girls at risk of T2D

15 Jul 2017
A look at high expectations and children’s well-being: Singapore

A mindfulness-based intervention is acceptable, feasible and more effective than cognitive-behavioural programmes in reducing depressive symptoms in girls with depressive symptoms and at risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals a new study.

The study included 33 overweight or obese female adolescents with mild to moderate depressive symptoms randomized to receive either the mindfulness-based intervention (n=17; mean age 15.01±1.68 years) or cognitive-behavioural therapy (n=16; mean age 14.97±1.75 years).

Mindfulness, measured by the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), improved in the mindfulness intervention group both at post-treatment (0.87±0.22) and at 6 months (0.83±0.23).

Similar increases, although smaller in magnitude, were observed in the cognitive-behavioural therapy group at post-treatment (0.56±0.20) and at 6 months (0.79±0.21).

Depressive and anxiety symptoms in the mindfulness intervention group were reduced at post-treatment (-11.34±1.36 and -5.37±1.34, respectively) and at 6 months (-8.25±1.67 and -6.39±1.33, respectively).

Decreases in depressive and anxiety symptoms were also observed at post-treatment (-7.45±1.35 and -4.45±1.30, respectively) and at 6 months (-8.25±1.67 and -6.39±1.33, respectively) in the cognitive-behavioural group, but the reductions were lower in magnitude compared with that achieved with the mindfulness intervention.

Post-treatment reductions in fasting insulin levels for the mindfulness intervention group were significantly greater than in the cognitive-behavioural therapy group. Levels for the two groups at 6 months (p=0.34) were not significantly different.

Acceptability was high and was not significantly different between the two groups.

Selected participants were at high risk of T2D and were received either cognitive-behavioural therapy or mindfulness therapy, which included interactive activities and discussions to improve mindfulness in participants.

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