Religions 2012, 3(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/rel3010001
Review

Meditation Based Therapies—A Systematic Review and Some Critical Observations

1 The Research Clinic for Functional Disorders and Psychosomatics, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark 2 Institute for Transcultural Health Studies, European University Viadrina and Samueli Institute European Office, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 September 2011; in revised form: 8 December 2011 / Accepted: 28 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religions and Psychotherapies)
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Abstract: This article systematically reviews the evidence for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and analyses the conditions around their rising popularity. MBSR, MBCT and Mindfulness Meditation were used as key words. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials using the standard MBSR/MBCT program with a minimum of 33 participants. Twenty four studies were included. MBSR improved mental health in ten studies compared to waitlist control or treatment as usual. Moreover, MBSR was as efficacious as active control group in four studies, and showed a tendency over active control in one study. MBCT reduced the risk of depressive relapse in all five included studies. Evidence supports that MBSR improves mental health and MBCT prevents depressive relapse. It is interesting to observe that meditation based therapy programs are rapidly enjoying popularity. We discuss the cultural and theoretical implications.
Keywords: mindfulness meditation; mindfulness-based cognitive therapy; mindfulness-based stress reduction; systematic review; randomized controlled trials; sense of meaning

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fjorback, L.O.; Walach, H. Meditation Based Therapies—A Systematic Review and Some Critical Observations. Religions 2012, 3, 1-18.

AMA Style

Fjorback LO, Walach H. Meditation Based Therapies—A Systematic Review and Some Critical Observations. Religions. 2012; 3(1):1-18.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fjorback, Lone Overby; Walach, Harald. 2012. "Meditation Based Therapies—A Systematic Review and Some Critical Observations." Religions 3, no. 1: 1-18.

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