Online Program

A meta-analysis of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) interventions in healthy individuals

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Manoj Sharma, MBBS, MCHES, Ph.D., Behavioral & Environmental Health, Jackson State University & Walden University, Jackson, MS
Bassam Khoury, PhD, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Sarah E. Rush, MA, Health Promotion and Education, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Claude Fournier, MD, Programme santé mentale adulte, Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Vieille-Capitale, Québec, QC, Canada
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as an intervention is gaining popularity in Integrative Medicine.  It is being used for both healthy and clinical populations.  The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of MBSR interventions implemented with apparently healthy populations.  The methodology entailed conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies published in Medline, CINAHL, and Alt HealthWatch databases from the first available date until September 19, 2014. A total of 29 studies (n = 2,668) met the inclusion criteria. The results that included effect-size estimates found that MBSR interventions were moderately effective in pre-post analyses (n = 26; Hedge’s g = .55; 95% CI [.44, .66], p < .00001) and in between group analyses (n = 18; Hedge’s g = .53; 95% CI [.41, .64], p < .00001). The obtained results were maintained at follow-up (n = 8; Hedge’s g = .66 for pre-post analyses; n = 4; Hedge’s g = .53, p = .08). Results also found large effects on measures pertaining to depression, stress, anxiety, and distress, moderate effects on measures of quality of life, mindfulness, and compassion, and small effects on measures of burnout. When combined, mindfulness and compassion strongly moderated the clinical effect size. However, heterogeneity was significant among the trials, probably due to differences in study designs, the implemented MBSR protocol, and the assessed outcomes. MBSR interventions are moderately to largely effective in reducing depression, anxiety, stress, distress and improving the quality of life of healthy participants.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the technique of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) as it is applied to healthy and clinical populations. Describe the process of systematic review and meta-analysis as applied to MBSR. Assess the process of systematic review and meta-analysis for other interventions.

Keyword(s): Stress, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on this manuscript with my coauthors and have been involved in research of mind-body interventions for over 25 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.