Scientific Research on the Effects of Mindfulness Based Approaches

A 2013 meta-analysis of mindfulness-based therapies (MBT), involving 209 studies and 12,145 participants, found that MBT showed “large and clinically significant effects in treating anxiety and depression”, with gains maintained at follow-up. These findings were similar to those obtained in previous meta-analyses.

A systematic study on the efficacy of various forms of meditation programs commissioned by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, was published in 2014. After a review of 17,801 citations, involving 2,993 participants, it concluded that “Meditation programs, in particular mindfulness programs, reduce multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress.” The assessment found that “Mindfulness meditation programs improved multiple dimensions of negative affect, including anxiety, depression, and perceived stress/general distress … the effects were significant for anxiety and marginally significant for depression at the end of treatment, and these effects continued to be significant at 3-6 months for both anxiety and depression”