Discontinuation of antidepressant medication after mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for recurrent depression: randomised controlled non-inferiority trial

Marloes J. Huijbers*, Philip Spinhoven, Jan Spijker, Henricus G. Ruhe, Digna J. F. van Schaik, Patricia van Oppen, Willem A. Nolen, Johan Ormel, Willem Kuyken, Gert Jan van der Wilt, Marc B. J. Blom, Aart H. Schene, A. Rogier T. Donders, Anne E. M. Speckens

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

47 Citaten (Scopus)
283 Downloads (Pure)



Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and maintenance antidepressant medication (mADM) both reduce the risk of relapse in recurrent depression, but their combination has not been studied.


To investigate whether MBCT with discontinuation of mADM is non-inferior to MBCT+mADM.


A multicentre randomised controlled non-inferiority trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00928980). Adults with recurrent depression in remission, using mADM for 6 months or longer (n = 249), were randomly allocated to either discontinue (n = 128) or continue (n = 121) mADM after MBCT. The primary outcome was depressive relapse/recurrence within 15 months. A confidence interval approach with a margin of 25% was used to test non-inferiority. Key secondary outcomes were time to relapse/recurrence and depression severity.


The difference in relapse/recurrence rates exceeded the non-inferiority margin and time to relapse/recurrence was significantly shorter after discontinuation of mADM. There were only minor differences in depression severity.


Our findings suggest an increased risk of relapse/recurrence in patients withdrawing from mADM after MBCT.

Declaration of interest


Copyright and usage

(C) The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)366-373
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftThe British Journal of Psychiatry
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - apr.-2016

Citeer dit