A Chinese Chan-based mind–body intervention for patients with depression

Agnes S. CHAN, Queenie Y. WONG, Sophia L. SZE, Patrick P. K. KWONG, Yvonne Ming Yee HAN, Mei Chun CHEUNG

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Background: Given the recent growing interest and encouraging findings in studies of alternative treatments for depression, the present randomized controlled trial study aimed to compare the effect of a newly developed Chinese Chan-based Dejian Mind–Body Intervention (DMBI) with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) on improving depressive symptoms in patients with depression. Methods: Seventy-five participants diagnosed with major depressive disorder were randomly assigned to receive either 10-session CBT or DMBI, or placed on a waitlist. Pre-post measurements included record of anti-depressants treatment, ratings by psychiatrists who were blinded to the experimental design and self-report on mood measures, and performance in a cognitive test tapping concentration ability. Results: Both the CBT and DMBI groups demonstrated significantly reduced overall depressive syndrome after intervention at large effect size (0.93–1.10). Furthermore, the DMBI group (p<0.05), but not the CBT or waitlist groups, demonstrated significant reduction in intake of anti-depressants, and significant improvement in specific depression-related symptoms including difficulty in concentration (p=0.002), and problems in gastrointestinal health (p=0.02) and overall sleep quality (p<0.001). Limitations: This study has provided some evidence for the short-term effect of the DMBI on Chinese population. Its long-term effect on a larger sample and on Caucasian population warrants further investigation. Conclusions: The present findings suggest that a Chinese Chan-based Mind–Body intervention has positive effects on improving mood and health conditions of individuals with depression. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B. V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-289
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


Cognitive Therapy
Major Depressive Disorder
Depressive Disorder
Self Report
Research Design
Randomized Controlled Trials


Chan, A. S., Wong, Q. Y., Sze, S. L., Kwong, P. P. K., Han, Y. M. Y., & Cheung, M.-C. (2012). A Chinese Chan-based mind–body intervention for patients with depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 142(1–3), 283-289.


  • Depression
  • Mood
  • Attention
  • Somatic
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Mind–Body intervention