Effects of Brief Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Health-Related Outcomes: a Systematic Review



Howarth A, Smith J, Perkins-Porras L & Ussher M (2019) Effects of Brief Mindfulness-Based Interventions on Health-Related Outcomes: a Systematic Review. Mindfulness, 10 (10), pp. 1957-1968.

Objectives Traditional mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been applied successfully across many populations. The time commitment for these programs is often a barrier, and while brief MBIs have become popular, the impact of these on healthrelated outcomes is unclear as they have not yet been reviewed. Methods A search of databases, including Medline, Embase, and PsycINFO, was conducted with qualitative and case studies being excluded. Findings were summarized using a narrative approach for all studies that met the inclusion criteria. Results With one exception, all 85 studies that were included were randomized controlled trials and were relatively robust methodologically. Seventy-nine reported significant positive effects on at least one health-related outcome and over a quarter targeted a clinical population. The majority of studies focused on psychological outcomes, such as anxiety and depression, as well as emotion regulation, stress, and cognitive outcomes. Conclusions Despite heterogeneity of outcomes across studies, there is evidence that brief MBIs can impact numerous healthrelated outcomes, after only one session and with interventions as brief as 5 min. These interventions have the potential to be the initial steps leading to sustainable and positive health outcomes.

Mindfulness; Brief interventions; Systematic review; Health outcomes

Mindfulness: Volume 10, Issue 10

Publication date31/10/2019
Publication date online31/05/2019
Date accepted by journal31/05/2019

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Professor Michael Ussher

Professor Michael Ussher

Professor of Behavioural Medicine, Institute for Social Marketing