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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 51-59

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for University students with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms: a randomized controlled trial

1 Department of Psychology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
2 Department of Statistics, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
3 Department of Psychology, State University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
Alessandra Almeida Assumpcao
Department of Psychology, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2542-3932.263668

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Background and objectives: Early detection and intervention of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms in college can reduce the incidence of future mental health problems, thereby achieving better academic performance and having a positive effect on future career. The effect of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) on stress, depression and anxiety symptoms in this population has not been fully studied. The study aims to evaluate the efficacy of MBCT in treating depression, anxiety and stress symptoms in college students. Subjects and methods: This is a randomized parallel-controlled trial. University students with depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms were randomized into MBCT group and wait-list control (control) group. The MBCT took place in a weekly meeting within 6 weeks and was delivered in groups constituted by 5–11 participants. Each meeting took 90 minutes. The primary outcomes were the Beck Depression Inventory-II, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Perceived Stress Scale. The secondary outcomes were the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and the 12-Item Health Survey scores. The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Federal University of Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (approval No. 2.025.573) on April 20, 2017. Results: The MBCT intervention had a statistically significant reduction in depression levels at post-treatment, and the treatment gains were maintained in follow-up (P < 0.05). Besides, the intervention increased the quality of life in post-test follow-up (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The MBCT helps college students learn how to manage adverse emotional states, especially, depression. It also helps improving their quality of life. Trial registration: This trial was registered in the Brazilian Clinical Trial Registry (http://www.ensaiosclinicos.gov.br) (registration No. RBR-4mmvpc) on July 21, 2017. Funding: This study was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES; to AAA).

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