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Meditation-based lifestyle modification in mild to moderate depression-A randomized controlled trial.

OBJECTIVE: Depression is a global key challenge in mental health care. The implementation of effective, low-risk and cost-effective interventions to reduce its disease burden is a necessity. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of the new Meditation-Based Lifestyle Modification (MBLM) program, a "second-generation" mindfulness-based intervention, in depressive outpatients.

METHODS: Eighty-one patients with mild to moderate depression were randomized into three groups: intervention group (MBLM), control group (CONTROL), and treatment as usual group (TAU). The primary outcome was the change of depressive symptoms as administered by the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) after 4 and 8 weeks. Secondary outcome variables included the Brief Symptom Checklist-18 and the Perceived Stress Scale-10. A 6-month follow-up was conducted.

RESULTS: A greater reduction of depressive symptoms was found in MBLM participants compared to CONTROL (p < .001, ηp 2  = 0.11, d = 0.70) and TAU ( p < . 001 , η p 2 = 0 . 10 , d = 0 . 67 $p\lt .001,{\eta }_{{\rm{p}}}^{2}=0.10,d=0.67$ ) with a 13.15 points reduction of BDI-II score versus 1.71 points (CONTROL) and 3.34 points (TAU) after 8 weeks. Between-group post hoc tests for all secondary outcomes and at follow-up also yielded significant between-group differences with medium to large effect sizes in favor of MBLM.

CONCLUSIONS: Study results showed beneficial effects of MBLM in depressed outpatients. Further high-quality controlled clinical studies including qualitative research are needed to investigate the specific and unspecific effects of the MBLM program in depression and other medical conditions.

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