The efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions on mental health among university students : a systematic review and meta-analysis

Xinyi ZUO, Yong TANG*, Yifang CHEN, Zhimiao ZHOU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

Introduction: We aimed to estimate the effect of mindfulness therapy on mental health.

Methods: Two researchers searched 12 databases to identify relevant trials that were published from 1 January 2018 to 1 May 2023. We performed a meta-analysis to determine the effect of mindfulness therapy on depression, which was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS); anxiety, which was measured by the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), PROMIS, and DASS, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7); stress, which was measured by the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), DASS, and GAD-7; mindfulness, which was measured by the GAD-7, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), Short Form-12 Mental Component Score (SF-12 MCS) and Short Form-12 Physical Component Score (SF-12 PCS); and sleep quality, which was measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). After screening studies based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) involving 1,824 participants were ultimately included.

Results: All these studies demonstrated positive effects of mindfulness therapy on depression (SMD = −0.33, 95% CI: [−0.44, −0.22], p < 0.00001, I2 = 29%), anxiety (SMD = −0.35, 95% CI: [−0.46, −0.25], p < 0.00001, I2 = 40%), stress (SMD = −0.39, 95% CI: [−0.48, −0.29], p < 0.00001, I2 = 69%) and sleep quality scores (SMD = −0.81, 95% CI: [−1.54, −0.09], p = 0.03, I2 = 0%). However, there was no significant difference in mindfulness (SMD = −0.12, 95% CI: [−0.36, −0.12], p = 0.34, I2 = 34%) between the mindfulness therapy group and the control group.

Discussion: In future studies, it is necessary to consider the investigation on whether the strategies of improving the mindfulness therapy in adherence and fidelity can work on the improvement of the outcomes in mental health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1259250
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Zuo, Tang, Chen and Zhou.

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • meta-analysis
  • mindfulness
  • sleep quality
  • stress
  • university students

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