There are evidence-based treatments available to treat major depressive disorders. However a significant proportion of patients does not recover despite of psychological and pharmacological treatment. Previous research showed that MBCT is an effective treatment to reduce depressive symptoms in currently depressed patients.



We investigated whether MBCT is effective for chronic, treatment-reistant depressed patients.


Goal of the study was to investigate whether MBCT reduces depressive symptoms, rumination and increases mindfulness skills, self-compassion and quality of life. Additionally we explored several working mechanisms of MBCT as attentional bias, interpretation bias, memory bias, and cognitive control.


Patients with chronic depressive symptoms who previously received at least 10 sessions of psychological treatment in combination with pharmacotherapy.


Participants were randomized to treatment-as-ussual (TAU) or MBCT+TAU. We investigated depressive symptoms, ruminative thoughts, quality of life, mindfulness skills, self-compassion and several working mechanisms. After the post measurement also participants who were randomized to TAU were invited to follow the MBCT training. Follow-up assessments took place at three and six months after the MBCT.


Data-collection started in January 2013 and was finished in november 2016.

By whom

This study was conducted by Pro Persona, Radboud University Medical Center and Radboud University. The study was part of the PhD-project of Mira Cladder-Micus who was supervised by  prof. Jan Spijker, prof. Anne Speckens, prof. Eni Becker and dr. Janna Vrijsen.

More information

Cladder-Micus, M. B., et al. (2015). “A randomized controlled trial of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) versus treatment-as-usual (TAU) for chronic, treatment-resistant depression: study protocol.” BMC Psychiatry 15(1): 1-8.