A mind-body lifestyle intervention enhances emotional control in patients with major depressive disorder: a randomized, controlled study

Yvonne M.Y. Han, Sophia L. Sze, Queenie Y. Wong, Agnes S. Chan (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


To investigate the effects of the Dejian mind-body intervention (DMBI), on depressive symptoms and electroencephalography (EEG) changes in relation to emotional processing in patients with depression. Seventy-five age-, gender-, and education-matched participants with depression were randomly assigned to receive either Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or DMBI or were placed in a control group. Overall depressive syndrome, specific mood-related symptoms (Hamilton Psychiatric Rating Scale for Depression, Beck Depression Inventory), and EEG data were collected individually during a resting state and during affective image viewing before and after 10 weeks of intervention. After intervention, both the DMBI and CBT groups showed significantly reduced levels of overall depressive syndrome and mood-related symptoms (Ps ≤ 0.002) than the control group. In addition, the DMBI group demonstrated a significantly greater extent of elevation in fronto-posterior EEG theta coherence on the right hemisphere when viewing different mood-induction (neutral, positive, and negative) stimuli than the CBT and control groups (Ps ' 0.03). The elevated intra-right fronto-posterior coherence when viewing mood-induction stimuli correlated with improved mood levels after the intervention (Ps ' 0.05). Our findings also showed that, only in the DMBI group, there was a significant suppression of theta source activity at the posterior and subcortical brain regions that are known to mediate negative emotional responses and the self-absorbed mode of thinking. The findings of reduced depressive symptoms and elevated frontoposterior coherence suggest that the DMBI can enhance emotional control in depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1069
Number of pages14
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Depression
  • EEG coherence
  • Lifestyle intervention
  • Mind-body
  • Mood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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