- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Small number of studies and follow-up assessments.
Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm