Mindfulness Meditation to Promote Wellness and Manage Chronic Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Mindfulness-Based Randomized Controlled Trials Relevant to Lifestyle Medicine

David E Victorson*, Mitchell Kentor, Carly Maletich, Rachel C. Lawton, Vered Hankin Kaufman, Maria Borrero, Lauren Languido, Katherine Lewett, Hannah Pancoe, Carla Berkowitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lifestyle medicine is a patient-engaged field that has grown in tandem with our increasing knowledge of the importance of lifestyle factors and modifiable health behaviors for disease prevention, health promotion, and the management of chronic illness. Stress is at the epicenter of many negative behaviors that contribute to unhealthy lives, such as smoking, overeating, and unhealthy diets, and lack of activity. Mindfulness meditation is a stress reduction practice that teaches awareness, appreciation, and nonjudgmental acceptance of one’s present experience, thereby short-circuiting reactive, automatic stress reactions. Our systematic review and meta-analysis focuses on the application of randomized controlled mindfulness intervention studies across a broad range of populations and conditions that are relevant to lifestyle medicine. In addition to organizing and highlighting mindfulness research studies that are relevant to the field of lifestyle medicine, we also empirically examine the impact of study design issues (eg, use of different controls, intervention length and duration, sample size, primary outcomes) on the magnitude of effect of mindfulness interventions in lifestyle medicine. Overall, this systematic review and meta-analysis found partial evidence for mindfulness-based interventions to provide short-term benefits across a wide range of lifestyle medicine–relevant populations and study outcomes, particularly focusing on the areas of diet and weight management and symptom burden. Numerous outcome measures were used; however, the most common were the Perceived Stress Scale and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory. This analysis also provides evidence for mindfulness-based interventions that have fewer than 20 individuals per group, as well as partial support for interventions that are less than the standard 8 weeks in duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-211
Number of pages27
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2015

Keywords

  • lifestyle medicine
  • meta-analysis
  • mindfulness meditation
  • randomized controlled trials
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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