Mindfulness-Based Therapies for Psychological Health Conditions: A Meta-Analysis
McCarney, Robert William
Introduction Mindfulness-Based Therapies (MBT) are a current technology within the cognitivebehavioural tradition, which can be grouped according to whether mindfulness is a major or a minor component. A mindful approach to psychological difficulties attempts to change the relationship with unwanted inner experience. The model suggests this may help reduce affective symptomatology. There has been a considerable growth of interest in these therapies with an accompanying increase in the evidence base. A number of reviews have been conducted however they have not comprehensively appraised these therapies. The primary aim of my study was to contribute to ongoing research determining the effectiveness of MBT for the treatment of affective symptomatology. Depending on these results, a secondary aim of the study was to make recommendations for the use of MBT in clinical practice. Methods I conducted a meta-analysis which looked separately at therapies considered to have mindfulness as a major component; therapies considered to have mindfulness as a minor component; and a comparison of these two groups. Of the 598 unique citations identified in the literature, 113 were assessed for eligibility and 40 included in the pool of studies for the meta-analysis. Results For the major component therapies, there was a significant mean reduction score in depressive symptomatology as measured by the BDI of 8.73 points (k = 11; 95% CI = 6.61, 10.86). Evidence of effectiveness was also found for the minor component therapies (k = 8) in reducing anxiety symptomatology with a significant standardised mean difference of 1.24 (95% CI = 0.81, 2.10). Discussion I found evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapies in reducing levels of depression or anxiety mainly in patients diagnosed with depressive or anxiety disorders. The robustness of these findings is discussed alongside the implications for research and practice within the context of the current literature.