, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 467–474 | Cite as

An Exploratory Study of Group Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Older People with Depression

  • Frances MeetenEmail author
  • Susan Whiting
  • Caroline M. Williams


The benefits of a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) group for older people with recurrent and/or chronic depression were explored using a measure of mood (DASS-21) and well-being (Ryff Psychological Well-being Inventory). Thirteen participants started the study and outcome measures were recorded at baseline, post-MBCT group and at a 6-month follow-up. Although there was only a small sample size that had complete pre- and post-group data (n = 9), improvements in depression and anxiety severity were noted and there was a significant improvement on ‘purpose in life’ and marginally significant improvement of ‘personal growth’, two of six domains on a measure of well-being. Participants were satisfied with the structure of the course but were less confident about committing to the daily practice after the group than pre-group. At 6 months follow-up, none of the group had relapsed into a major depressive episode. Further research with larger sample sizes and a control group to control for nonspecific therapeutic group factors is recommended.


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy Depression Well-being Older people 



We wish to thank the grant benefactors from the Dorothy Allen Legacy Fund and to acknowledge our gratitude to the highly skilled, compassionate and experienced mindfulness tutors, Karunavira and Taravajra, who helped make this project a success. We would also like to thank the staff from the Research and Development Department of the Sussex Partnership NHS Trust for their support and guidance including the Service User Consultants, MIND for running focus groups and the participants who willingly gave up their time to complete the research. The authors are listed in alphabetical order and contributed as follows: SW and CW were the clinical leads on the study and they designed the study and sought ethical approval; FM was a member of the research team who contributed to data collection and analysis; and all the authors contributed to writing the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frances Meeten
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susan Whiting
    • 2
  • Caroline M. Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation TrustSussexUK

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