Workingsmechanisms of mindfulness (CogMind)


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mental disorder that is highly prevalent and characterized by periods of persistent low mood, low energy, and loss of interest and joy. In addition, MDD is known for its highly recurrent nature, and with every new depressive episode, outcome perspective worsen. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has been shown effective in the treatment of MDD, reducing relapse rates, residual and current depressive symptoms. However, treatment is not effective for every patient. The reason for this is not yet fully understood. Therefore it is of great importance to investigate the working mechanism of MBCT. By identifying mediating and moderating factors treatment may be optimized in the future, and it may become possible to predict which patients will benefit most from the MBCT.


The objective of this study is to investigate the working mechanism of MBCT for depression. We focus on depressive rumination, i.e. repetitive negative thoughts about the causes and consequences of symptoms of depression, which is one of the proposed working mechanisms of MBCT. We will investigate the mediating and moderating role of rumination in the MBCT-induced effects on depressive symptoms. As secondary objectives, the effect of MBCT on processes related to depressive rumination such as cognitive control, behavioral learning and working memory will be studied.

Study population

Patients with recurrent or chronic (>2 years persistent symptoms of depression) MDD that signed up for a MBCT training.


Participants are allocated to group 1 or group 2, dependent on the start date of the MBCT. Group 1 receives measurements before the start (1) halfway (2) and after MBCT (3), while group 2 receives these three measurement moments during their waiting period, one halfway (4) and one after the MBCT (5). Measurements consist of self-report questionnaires and cognitive (computer)tasks. In addition, weekly questionnaires will be administered to study the timing of change.


The study takes place from September 2019 until 2023.


The study is executed by Jelle Lubbers (junior researcher), dr. prof. Anne Speckens (professor in psychiatry), dr. prof. Jan Spijker (professor in psychiatry), dr. Dirk Geurts (psychiatrist and post-doc researcher) and dr. Mira Cladder-Micus (psychologist and post-doc researcher).

More information

For questions or more information, feel free to contact Jelle Lubbers:


Phone: 024-3614608


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