Changes in depression and anxiety through mindfulness group therapy in Japan: The role of mindfulness and self-compassion as possible mediators

Toru Takahashi, Fukiko Sugiyama, Tomoki Kikai, Issaku Kawashima, Siqing Guan, Mana Oguchi, Taro Uchida, Hiroaki Kumano

研究成果: Article

2 引用 (Scopus)


Background: Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly being implemented worldwide for problems with depression and anxiety, and they have shown evidence of efficacy. However, few studies have examined the effects of a mindfulness-based group therapy based on standard programs for depression and anxiety until follow-up in Japan. This study addresses that gap. Furthermore, this study explored the mechanisms of action, focusing on mindfulness, mind wandering, self-compassion, and the behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation systems (BIS/BAS) as possible mediators. Methods: We examined 16 people who suffered from depression and/or anxiety in an 8-week mindfulness group therapy. Measurements were conducted using questionnaires on depression and trait-anxiety (outcome variables), mindfulness, mind wandering, self-compassion, and the BIS/BAS (process variables) at pre- and post-intervention and 2-month follow-up. Changes in the outcome and process variables were tested, and the correlations among the changes in those variables were explored. Results: Depression and anxiety decreased significantly, with moderate to large effect sizes, from pre- to post-intervention and follow-up. In process variables, the observing and nonreactivity facets of mindfulness significantly increased from pre- to post-intervention and follow-up. The nonjudging facet of mindfulness and self-compassion significantly increased from pre-intervention to follow-up. Other facets of mindfulness, mind wandering, and the BIS/BAS did not significantly change. Improvements in some facets of mindfulness and self-compassion and reductions in BIS were significantly correlated with decreases in depression and anxiety. Conclusions: An 8-week mindfulness group therapy program may be effective for people suffering from depression and anxiety in Japan. Mindfulness and self-compassion may be important mediators of the effects of the mindfulness group therapy. Future studies should confirm these findings by using a control group. Trial registration: University Hospital Medical Information Network (UMIN CTR) UMIN000022966. Registered July 1, 2016,

ジャーナルBioPsychoSocial Medicine
出版物ステータスPublished - 2019 2 18


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry