Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy reduces symptoms of depression in people with a traumatic brain injury: results from a randomized controlled trial

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2014 Jul-Aug;29(4):E13-22. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e3182a615a0.


Objective: We sought to determine if we could reduce symptoms of depression in individuals with a traumatic brain injury using mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Setting: The study was conducted in a community setting.

Participants: We enrolled adults with symptoms of depression after a traumatic brain injury.

Design: We conducted a randomized controlled trial; participants were randomized to the 10-week mindfulness-based cognitive therapy intervention arm or to the wait-list control arm.

Main measures: The primary outcome measure was symptoms of depression using the Beck Depression Inventory-II.

Results: The parallel group analysis revealed a greater reduction in Beck Depression Inventory-II scores for the intervention group (6.63, n = 38,) than the control group (2.13, n = 38, P = .029). A medium effect size was observed (Cohen d = 0.56). The improvement in Beck Depression Inventory-II scores was maintained at the 3-month follow-up.

Conclusion: These results are consistent with those of other researchers that use mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to reduce symptoms of depression and suggest that further work to replicate these findings and improve upon the efficacy of the intervention is warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / psychology*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Watchful Waiting*