Is mindfulness-based stress reduction beneficial to mental health among healthy individuals?
Date of publication of the systematic review: June 2015
Design
Date of publication of the systematic review: June 2015
Participants
A total of 2668 healthy adult participants (mean age range: 18.7 to 52.2 years, male % range: 0 to 43.9).
Intervention
23 studies evaluated standard mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) interventions. 4 studies evaluated modified, low dose or brief version of MBSR. 1 study assessed web-based MBSR. Intervention durations ranged from 6 to 32 hours.
Comparator
Comparison: MBSR versus wait-list, mental health course or active treatment control.
Major Outcomes
Outcome 1: Anxiety level;
Outcome 2: Depression level;
Outcome 3: Stress level;
Outcome 4: Distress level;
Outcome 5: Burnout level.
The reviewers did not specify the tools for measuring individual outcomes.
Settings
The reviewers did not state whether the studies were conducted in in-patient or out-patient settings.
Comparison    MBSR versus wait-list, mental health course or active treatment control
Main Results
Compared to wait-list, mental health course or active treatment control, MBSR had significant effect on reducing levels of anxiety (pooled effect size: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.19 to 0.92), depression (pooled effect size: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.43 to 0.93), stress (pooled effect size: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.58 to 1.08), distress (pooled effect size: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.45 to 0.68) and burnout (pooled effect size: 0.39, 95% CI:0.14 to 0.65) among healthy participants.
Comparison: MBSR versus wait-list, mental health course or active treatment control among healthy participants
Outcomes No. of studies (Total no. of participants) Mean score / No. of participants Heterogeneity test (I2) Pooled Effect size (95% CI) Overall quality of evidence*
Intervention Comparator
1 8 (not reported) Not reported Not reported 94.31% 0.55 (0.19 to 0.92) Moderate
2 6 (not reported) Not reported Not reported 79.49% 0.68 (0.43 to 0.93) Moderate
3 15 (not reported) Not reported Not reported 93.75% 0.83 (0.58 to 1.08) High
4 3 (not reported) Not reported Not reported 0% 0.57 (0.45 to 0.68) High
5 6 (not reported) Not reported Not reported 78.28% 0.39 (0.14 to 0.65) Low
Keys: CI: confidence interval.
Comparison    MBSR versus wait-list, mental health course or active treatment control
Main Results
Compared to wait-list, mental health course or active treatment control, MBSR had significant effect on reducing levels of anxiety (pooled effect size: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.19 to 0.92), depression (pooled effect size: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.43 to 0.93), stress (pooled effect size: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.58 to 1.08), distress (pooled effect size: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.45 to 0.68) and burnout (pooled effect size: 0.39, 95% CI:0.14 to 0.65) among healthy participants.
Comparison: MBSR versus wait-list, mental health course or active treatment control among healthy participants
Outcomes 1 2 3 4 5
No. of studies (Total no. of participants) 8 (not reported) 6 (not reported) 15 (not reported) 3 (not reported) 6 (not reported)
Mean score / No. of participants Intervention Not reported Not reported Not reported Not reported Not reported
Comparator Not reported Not reported Not reported Not reported Not reported
Pooled Effect size (95% CI) 0.55 (0.19 to 0.92) 0.68 (0.43 to 0.93) 0.83 (0.58 to 1.08) 0.57 (0.45 to 0.68) 0.39 (0.14 to 0.65)
Overall quality of evidence* Moderate Moderate High High Low
Keys: CI: confidence interval.
Conclusion
Benefits
MBSR is effective in reducing the levels of anxiety, depression, distress and burnout among healthy individuals. For Outcome 1 and 2, the overall quality of evidence is moderate. Further research is fairly likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect. For Outcome 3 and 4, the overall quality of evidence is high. Further research is unlikely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect. For Outcome 5, the overall quality of evidence is low. Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
Harms
No adverse events were reported.
Link to Original Article
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25818837
The synopsis is based on the following article:
Khoury B, Sharma M, Rush SE, Fournier C. Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: a meta-analysis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2015 Jun 30;78(6):519-28.


* Interpretation of quality assessment results:
• Very low: Further research is most likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Low: Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Moderate: Further research is fairly likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• High: Further research is unlikely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Very high: Further research is most unlikely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.

Details of assessment method can be found at Chung VC, Wu XY, Ziea ET, Ng BF, Wong SY, Wu JC. Assessing internal validity of clinical evidence on effectiveness of CHinese and integrative medicine: Proposed framework for a CHinese and Integrative Medicine Evidence RAting System (CHIMERAS). European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2015 Aug 31;7(4):332-41.