Objective: Existing meta-analyses of mindfulness-based programs (MBPs) suggest inconsistent effects, and few focus on technology-enabled MBPs. Technology-enabled MBPs are programs delivered via the Internet in web apps, which are accessed through Internet browsers, or native apps, which are applications installed directly on smart mobile devices. This meta-analysis provides an updated synthesis of technology-enabled MBPs’ effects on negative affect and mindfulness and discusses the role of moderators in these effects. Methods: A search was conducted through August 2019 of databases PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, PsychINFO, and the website MINDFULNET.org for original randomized clinical trials focused on technology-enabled MBPs. Additional inclusion criteria included English language publications and outcome measures of negative affect and/or measures of mindful awareness. Results: A medium effect was observed of technology-enabled MBPs on stress (Hedges g = − 0.47, 95% CI − 1.02 to 0.21, p < 0.01). Small effects were observed on symptoms of anxiety (Hedges g = − 0.21, 95% CI − 0.39 to − 0.03, p = 0.02) and depression (Hedges g = − 0.25, 95% CI − 0.37 to − 0.12, p < 0.01) as well as mindful awareness (g = 0.4, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.07, p < 0.01). Multivariate regressions and general linear models revealed that intervention duration, percentage of women participants, human-supported interventions, and type of control condition contributed significantly to effect size variability. Conclusions: Technology-enabled MBPs included in this analysis demonstrated small to medium effects on outcomes of negative affect and mindfulness. Variability in study outcomes appears to be related to experimental and intervention characteristics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Health(social science)
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Applied Psychology