Mindfulness meditation can help reduce major depression and alleviate its symptoms, a study has found.

Researchers from University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that for patients with subthreshold depression who have not had a major depressive episode in the past six months, mindfulness training is a feasible method of preventing major depression.

In the study, 116 adults with subthreshold depression who received the usual care with no psychological intervention were compared to 115 people who received mindfulness training.

Intervention participants were invited to attend weekly two-hour mindfulness training sessions for eight consecutive weeks.At 12 months, there was a statistically significant difference in the incidence of major depressive disorder between groups (11 percent in the mindfulness group compared to 27 percent in usual care).

Mindfulness training also had a small effect in reducing depression symptoms. Other secondary outcomes demonstrated no significant change.

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