Youth depression shows response to mindfulness stress reduction

  • Front Psychol

  • curated by Jim Kling
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • A meta-analysis shows that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has a moderate effect on depressive symptoms in adolescents and young adults.
  • There was no significant effect at follow-up, possibly because of a lack of statistical power.

Why this matters

  • MBSR has come into wide use among young people in recent years to help control depressive symptoms.
  • Previous reviews of its efficacy were limited by the inclusion of various types of mindfulness practices, different outcomes, and mixed trial designs.

Study design

  • Systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled studies (n=2402) examining MBSR interventions for depression among adolescents/young adults.
  • Funding: The National Social Science Foundation; others.

Key results

  • MBSR had moderate effects in reducing depressive symptoms (combined posttest effect size [Hedges g], −0.45; 95% CI, −0.63 to −0.27).
  • The overall heterogeneity was 69%, and the prediction interval was within −1.05 to 0.15.
  • The combined follow-up effect size showed no statistical difference between MBSR and control group (Hedges g, −0.24; 95% CI, −0.54 to 0.06; 7 studies).

Limitations

  •  Small number of studies and follow-up assessments.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm

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