The Safety of Mindfulness-Based Interventions: a Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
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AbstractThe rapid growth of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) has raised questions regarding their safety. This review aimed to quantify the adverse events of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) reported in randomized control trials (RCTs) which included a statement of monitoring of adverse events. Literature was searched from the OVID databases until August 2017. A total of 36 RCTs were identified from 7931 search records, with 25 trials using MBSR and 11 trials using MBCT. A total of 19 (1%) and 19 (0.9%) adverse events were reported in the mindfulness intervention group and control group, respectively. In the MBSR group, none of them reported serious adverse event, and only three (12.0%) studies reported six (0.49%) intervention-related adverse events from among 1231 participants. No significant difference between the MBSR intervention and control groups was observed (6/1231 vs. 2/1244; risk difference (95% CI) = 0.0033 (− 0.01 to 0.01)). In the MBCT group, no intervention-related adverse events were reported, and only one trial reported ten (1.5%) cases of intervention-unrelated adverse events from 768 participants. No statistically significant difference in terms of the reported adverse events between the intervention and control groups was observed in the MBCT trials. Only a small proportion of trials reported monitoring of adverse events. Very few adverse events were reported in RCTs that used MBSR/MBCT. The MBSR/MBCT is regarded as relatively safe interventions. However, future studies are highly encouraged to report adverse events in mindfulness interventions for more affirmative conclusions.
All Author(s) ListSamuel Y. S. Wong, Joyce Y. C. Chan, Dexing Zhang, Eric K. P. Lee, Kelvin K. F. Tsoi
Journal nameMindfulness
Volume Number9
Issue Number5
Pages1344 - 1357
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2021-21-09 at 00:00