The incidence of subthreshold depression (StD) in adolescents is growing rapidly, which in turn is known to impair functioning and increase the risk of major depression. It is therefore important to provide effective intervention to prevent the transition from StD to major depression. As a traditional Chinese mind-body exercise, Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) may be an available selection. Researchers have shown the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy on depression; however, for the StD youth, there have been no studies to investigate whether mindfulness-based Tai Chi Chuan (MTCC) can be recommended as an effective exercise for improving their psychological state. The aim of present study was to evaluate the effect of MTCC on psychological outcomes of StD adolescents including the depression levels and mindfulness state in a randomized controlled trial (RCT).
Results from this RCT showed that MTCC is effective in reducing depression symptom levels in StD adolescents. StD is a psychological condition between health and depression, and if no timely and effectively intervention is done, it is more likely to develop to major depression. It is a feasible, easily disseminated intervention that may help reduce the population disease burden of depression. In the future study, we can develop targeted MTCC intervention pattern according to different populations, improving the well-being of society.