Mindfulness and the prevention of depression


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most prevalent and debilitating affective disorders and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Much of the burden of depression is a consequence of MDD tending to take a recurrent course. Hence optimizing preventative treatments for recurrence of depression is a high priority within the field of mental field.

Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an effective treatment for prevention of relapse risk amongst individuals with a history of recurrent MDD. MBCT is recommended in the Danish National Health guidelines and by the National Institute for Clinical and Health Excellence (NICE) as preventative treatment for recurrent depression. However, only about half experience sustained remission following MBCT. To improve clinical outcomes, we need to identify early markers to speak to which individuals will demonstrate long-term benefit from treatment and identify key therapeutic mechanisms of change.

PhD student Anne Maj van der Velden is adressing the question of mechanisms and predictive markers in a interdisciplinary project funded by the Institute for Clinical Medicine and a Mind & Life Varela Award. Anne Maj van der Velden is based at Interacting Minds Center (IMC) and co-affiliated with Danish Mindfulness Center and Center for Functionally Integrative Neurosciences. She receives supervision from Prof. Andreas Roepstorff (IMC, AU), Prof. Willem Kuyken (Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Oxford University), and Associate Professor Lone Fjorback (Danish Mindfulness Center, AU).

The project involves international and interdisciplinary collaboration between the fields of Clinical Psychology (Oxford Mindfulness Center; Professor Willem Kuyken and Catherine Crane and the Danish Mindfulness Center; Ass. Professor Lone Fjorback), Genetics (VIA Aarhus, Jesper Dalsgaard), Mind-Wandering (York University, Ass. Professor Jonathan Smallwood and Dr. Beth Jefferies), and Neural Mechanisms (Dr Gaelle Desbordes, Harvard Medical School and Professor Catherine Harmer, Oxford University).




For information in Danish and if you are interrested to participate in the study click here


Anne Maj van der Velden, Aarhus Universitet