Mindfulness-based depression therapy reduces health care visits

August 21, 2014
Science Daily/Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
A mindfulness-based therapy for depression has the added benefit of reducing health-care visits among patients who often see their family doctors, according to a new study. The research showed that frequent health service users who received mindfulness-based cognitive therapy showed a significant reduction in non-mental health care visits over a one-year period, compared with those who received other types of group therapy.

The mindfulness therapy group had one fewer non-mental health visit per year, for every two individuals treated with this therapy -- which translates into a reduction of nearly 2,500 visits to primary care physicians, emergency departments or non-psychiatric specialists in Ontario over eight years.

"We speculate that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has elements that could help people who are high health-care utilizers manage their distress without needing to go to a doctor," says Dr. Paul Kurdyak, lead author and Director of Health Systems Research at CAMH and Lead of the Mental Health and Addictions Research Program at ICES.

"Primary care physicians play a large role in managing patients with distress, and they often report feeling overwhelmed and unable to effectively deal with cases of medically unexplained symptoms," says Dr. Kurdyak. "This study shows the potential of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to help both patients and their doctors."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821115838.htm

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