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Mindfulness ‘promising’ for mental health problems in primary care

Mindfulness-based therapies could be used in primary care to treat mental health problems and improve patients’ quality of life, according to the findings of a meta-analysis.

Researchers looked at six randomised controlled trials of mindfulness-based interventions, which included in total over 550 patients. Four trials included patients with mood problems, stress or depression, while one included patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain and one involved patients with medically unexplained symptoms.

Overall, the team found the mindfulness approaches were associated with moderate, but significant improvements in patients’ mental health-related outcomes (Hedges effect size, 0.56). They also resulted in significant albeit smaller improvements in measures of quality of life (Hedges effect size of 0.29).

The authors admitted there were too few studies of mindfulness to draw any conclusion about its effects.

However, they said the results ‘suggest these interventions are promising for the mental health and quality of life of primary care patients’.

Ann Fam Med 2015; 13: 573-582

Readers' comments (4)

  • Mindfulness should be incorporated into resiliance training for medics so they can stop killing themselves. Says the GMC LMAO

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  • You need to read the study more carefully Caroline!! There are massive holes in it as actually admitted by the authors. But it must be said that anything will suit somebody somewhere - but that does not mean unqualified practitioners should be practicing on people in surgeries unless they are fully informed of the training. experience and qualifications of the practitioner; who their supervisor is;the code of ethics/practice they conform to /the - yes - complaints process should something go wrong........be mindful of the pitfalls in taking this fad up in the surgery - or any where else as the public will become more savvy before long...just as the therapy business has had to be regulated more rigorously so any of this kind of resilience/mindfulness stuff needs proper regulation - it cannot simply be provided by somebody 'with an interest' to mainly vulnerable groups without this in place

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  • If you want a laugh get a copy of the Ladybird book of mindfulness

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  • I'm a little worried that Mindfulness will be the new panacea (Like CBT, NLP etc, etc)
    Surely much more resources are needed generally

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