Evidence for Mindfulness Based Approaches:
Meta-Analysis

The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review.
Hoffman, S.G., Sawyer, A.T., Witt, A.A., and Oh, D. (2010).

Although mindfulness-based therapy has become a popular treatment, little is known about its efficacy. The objective of this study was to conduct an effect size analysis of this popular intervention for anxiety and mood symptoms in clinical samples. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, PsycInfo, the Cochrane Library, and manual searches. The search identified 39 studies totaling 1140 participants receiving mindfulness-based therapy for a range of conditions, including cancer, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, and other psychiatric or medical conditions. Effect size estimates suggest that mindfulness-based therapy was moderately effective for improving anxiety (Hedges’ g = 0.63) and mood symptoms (Hedges’ g =0.59) from pre to post-treatment in the overall sample. In patients with anxiety and mood disorders, this intervention was associated with effect sizes (Hedges’ g) of 0.97 and 0.95 for improving anxiety and mood symptoms, respectively. These effects sizes were robust, unrelated to publication year or number of treatment sessions, and were maintained over follow-up. These results suggest that mindfulness-based therapy is a promising intervention for treating anxiety and mood problems in clinical populations. J Consult Clin Psychol. 78(2): 169-183.

 

Evidence for Mindfulness Based Approaches From Controlled Trials

Wellness and Stress Reduction in Various Populations
Shapiro, S.L., Schwartz, G.E., & Bonner, G. (1998).

Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on medical and premedical students.
Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21, 581- 599 Williams, K.A., Kolar, M. M., Reger, B. E. & Pearson, J. C. (2001).

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Evaluation of a wellness-based mindfulness stress reduction intervention: A controlled trial.
American Journal of Health Promotion, 15(6), 422-432.Reibel, D. K., Greeson, J. M., Brainard, G. C. & Rosenzweig, S. (2001).

Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health-related quality of life in a heterogeneous patient population.
General Hospital Psychiatry, 23(4), 183- 192.

Positive Mood and Immune Response in Adults in Workplace
Davidson, R.J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S.F., Urbanowski, F., Harrington, A., Bonus, K., Sheridan, J.F. (2003).

Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 4, 564-70.

Anxiety Disorders
Miller, J.J., Fletcher, K., & Kabat-Zinn, J. (1995).

Three-year follow-up and clinical implications of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Gen Hosp Psychiatry, 3, 192-200.

Chronic pain
Astin J.A., Berman, B.M, Bausell, B., Lee, W.L., Hochberg, M., & Forys, K.L.(2003).

The efficacy of mindfulness meditation plus Qigong movement therapy in thetreatment of fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial. J Rheumatology, 10, 2257-62.

Quality of Life in Cancer Patients
Speca, M., Carlson, L., Goodey, E. & Angen, M. (2000).

A randomized wait-list controlled trial: The effects of a mindfulness meditation based stress reduction program on mood and symptoms of stress in cancer outpatients. Psychosomatic Medicine, 62, 613-622.

Skin Diseases
Kabat-Zinn, J., Wheeler, E., Light, T., Skillings, A., Scharf, M.J., Cropley, T.G., Hosmer, D., & Bernhard, J.D.

Influence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA). Psychosomatic Medicine, 5, 625-32.

Prevention of Recurrence of Depression
Teasdale, J.T., Segal, Z.V., Williams, J.M., Ridgeway, V., et al, (2000).

Prevention of relapse/recurrence in major depression by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 615-623.

Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Goyal, M,. Singh, S., Sibinga, E., Gould, N., Rowland-Seymour, A., Sharma, R., Berger, Z., Sleicher, D., Maron, D., Shihab, H., Ranasinghe, P., Linn, S., Saha, S., Bass, E., Haythornthwaite, J. JAMA Intern Med. Published online January 06, 2014.<http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1809754.>

“After reviewing 18 753 citations, we included 47 trials with 3515 participants. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence of improved anxiety (effect size, 0.38 at 8 weeks and 0.22 at 3-6 months), depression(0.30 at 8 weeks and 0.23 at 3-6 months), and pain(0.33) and low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health–related quality of life. We found low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight. We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (ie, drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies). Clinicians should be aware that meditation programs can result in small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress. Thus, clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that a meditation program could have in addressing psychological stress. Stronger study designs are needed to determine the effects of meditation programs in improving the positive dimensions of mental health and stress-related behavior.”

Relapse Prevention in Substance Abuse/Dependence
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention for Substance Use Disorders: A Pilot Efficacy Trial. Bowen, S., Chawla, N., Collins, S., Witkiewitz, K., Hsu, S.,Grow, J., Clifasefi, S., Garner, M., Douglass, A., Larimer, M., & Marlatt, A. (2009). Substance Abuse, 30, 205-305.

“The current study is the first randomized-controlled trial evaluating the feasibility an initial efficacy of an 8-week outpatient Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) program as compared to treatment as usual (TAU). Participants were 168 adults with substance use disorders who had recently completed intensive inpatient or outpatient treatment. Assessments were administered pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2 and 4 months post-intervention. Feasibility of MBRP was demonstrated by consistent homework compliance, attendance, and participant satisfaction. Initial efficacy was supported by significantly lower rates of substance use in those who received MBRP as compared to those in TAU over the 4-month post-intervention period. Additionally, MBRP participants demonstrated greater decreases in craving, and increases in acceptance and acting with awareness as compared to TAU. Results from this initial trial support the feasibility and initial efficacy of MBRP as an aftercare approach for individuals who have recently completed an intensive treatment for substance use disorders.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19904665 [abstract only]