Doing mindfulness meditation in a small group is as effective as standard individual therapy for treating depression and anxiety.
Meditating in groups of 10 or so works as well as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), considered as one of the most effective treatments for depression, say researchers from Lund University.
A group of 215 patients who were suffering from depression, anxiety or symptoms of severe stress were given eight weeks of group mindfulness meditation or individual CBT.
At the end of the study period, similar improvement was seen in both the groups.
The discovery could open up new ways of treating depression, especially at centres and clinics which don’t have the resources to offer individual therapy, say the researchers.
(Source: British Journal of Psychiatry, November 20914; doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.114.150243)