"Journeys through depression": Patients’ experiences of transformational change through mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and antidepressant medication (ADM).
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
18 month embargo
Reason for embargo
Data is part of large clinical trial and is due to be published.
Background Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a promising new alternative to anti-depressant medication (Kuyken et al., 2015) and whilst some qualitative studies have explored participants’ experiences of MBCT, none yet have explored experiences of participants who are considering coming off their antidepressant medication alongside MBCT or how patients experience change in relationships with self, others and illness. Aim To examine MBCT participants’ experience of change across 24 months, particularly in relation to change in views of their self and their illness over time. Method Thematic analysis of in-depth retrospective interviews with 42 participants, two years after attending an 8 week MBCT group with an invitation to taper their antidepressant medication (ADM). Each participant took part in one retrospective interview which was semi-structured and focused on experiences of MBCT and ADM over the previous two years since attending an MBCT group and how these have impacted on a change in self and experience of illness. Findings and conclusion Four over-arching themes were found: taking control, relationships (with self, other and illness), rebuilding the self and shifts in perspective. The findings in the current study are very similar to those found in transformation in the physical chronic illness literature (e.g. Paterson et al., 1999). Perhaps MBCT could be the challenge which lead patients suffering from chronic depression towards change and creates a context in which patients can consider self and identity.