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Review: mindfulness-based therapies effective for anxiety and depression

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Does mindfulness-based therapy (MBT) reduce anxiety and depression in people with psychiatric or medical conditions?


Pretreatment and post-treatment effect size (ES); ES in participants with elevated levels of anxiety and depression; controlled ESs.



Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources

PubMed, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library were searched from inception to April 2009 for controlled and uncontrolled treatment studies assessing mindfulness-based interventions for anxiety, depression, mood or stress. Reference lists of identified studies and reviews were hand searched.

Study selection and analysis

Two reviewers appraised studies and selected trials of MBT in adults (aged 18–65 years) with a diagnosed psychological or medical disorder. Inclusion criteria: reported measures of mood symptoms, or anxiety, or both, at preintervention and postintervention; ES analyses possible from reported data and MBT not coupled with treatments involving dialectical behaviour therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy. Study quality was rated using the Jadad score. ESs were calculated using Hodges's g and its 95% CI. ESs were interpreted as small (0.2), medium (0.5) and large (0.8) according to Cohen's convention. Where participants were not diagnosed with anxiety and depression symptoms at baseline, scores were compared against …

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  • Sources of funding Not stated.


  • Competing interests None.

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