1. Meditative therapies appear to be more beneficial for improving sleep quality, fatigue management and depressive symptoms, especially in patients suffering from mental disorders.

2. Furthermore, yoga-based interventions showed a slightly higher positive outcome compared to mindfulness-based interventions and transcendental/mantras/spiritual meditation.

Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)

As a practice, meditation has been increasing over the past few years. Some of the reported health benefits include blood pressure and glucose regulation, as well as stress reduction. Given these benefits, physicians may consider incorporating meditation as part of their treatment plans; however no systematic analysis shows the status of meditation’s clinical application in patients. Consequently, the present systematic review seeks to integrate the results from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with meditative interventions in patients with a wide range of diseases.

Of 4855 identified records, 104 RCTs (n=10,139) were included from database inception to June 2021. Studies were included if participants had diseases at baseline and evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of meditation. The quality of the RCTs was assessed using the Jadad scale.  Studies were excluded if they had a Jadad score of less than 3 points. 3 groups of meditation interventions were evaluated: yoga-based, mindfulness and transcendental/mantras/spiritual meditation. Effectiveness of the meditation intervention was judged based on the data of the original articles.

Results demonstrated that, overall, meditative therapies appear to be more beneficial for improving sleep quality, fatigue management and depressive symptoms especially in patients suffering from mental disorders. Furthermore, when assessing specifically which interventions were most beneficial, yoga-based interventions showed a slightly higher positive outcome compared to mindfulness-based interventions and transcendental/mantras/spiritual meditation. However, the present study was limited by the authors use of a single database (PubMed) which limited the available evidence. Despite this, these results suggest that there exists an overall benefit of meditation in patients.

Click to read the study in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 

Image: PD

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