Meditation Merits Consideration for Reduction of Psychological Stress

March 12, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Authors of a March 2014 review in JAMA Internal Medicine determined that mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, and other meditation techniques can offer a small to moderate effect in reducing emotional symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and stress, and can even aid in reducing physical symptoms, such as pain. However, the researchers emphasize that they found no evidence that meditation programs could supplant any active treatment, such as medication, exercise, or other behavioral therapy. Forty-seven trials from a pool of 18,753 were included in the review; a focus of the researchers in selecting these trials was to include studies with strong controls and control groups. Specifically, researchers found that mindfulness meditation programs demonstrated the most significant improvement (ranging from low to moderate) in anxiety, depression, pain, stress/distress, and the mental health component of quality of life.

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