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12-04-2023 | REVIEW

Effects of Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation on Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Auteurs: Yuan Zheng, Luyi Yan, Yifei Chen, Xiuqing Zhang, Wenxiang Sun, Jing Lv, Jingyi Zhou, Xiaodan Gu, Xinran Zhao, Wenting Luo, Yanyan Chen, Yongqi Lang, Zilin Wang, Chenyu Gao, Yuanchen Jiang, Runze Li, Yanhe Deng, Xianglong Zeng

Gepubliceerd in: Mindfulness | Uitgave 5/2023

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Abstract

Objectives

It is debatable whether loving-kindness and compassion meditation (LKCM) effectively reduces anxiety, and previous studies have reported inconsistent findings. This study provides a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of LKCM on anxiety.

Method

 Studies that took LKCM as the main body and measured anxiety as an outcome were included. There were no exclusion criteria for sample characteristics or control groups.

Results

Among 327 empirical studies published up to March 2022 on LKCM, 59 measured anxiety as an outcome. Meta-analyses showed that LKCM interventions are effective in reducing anxiety (d = -0.28, k = 19, n = 1284 for randomized controlled trials; d = -0.48, k = 26, n = 1177 for nonrandomized trials; d = -0.58, k = 6, n = 503 for laboratory experiments). The heterogeneity was high between studies. Subgroup analyses for randomized controlled trials found that studies combining loving-kindness meditation and mindfulness meditation outperformed studies adopting loving-kindness meditation alone. Moreover, studies with waitlist controls had greater effect sizes than studies with active controls. The type of anxiety, participant characteristics, protocol, or length of intervention had no statistically significant moderating effects. Individual studies supported mindfulness and self-compassion as important mechanisms, but the amount of meditation practice made a limited contribution.

Conclusions

LKCM interventions can be effective in reducing anxiety. The incremental value of combining mindfulness meditation with loving-kindness meditation is encouraging. More research is needed, especially on specific populations suffering from anxiety disorders.

Preregistration

PROSPERO CRD42021245515
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Metagegevens
Titel
Effects of Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation on Anxiety: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Auteurs
Yuan Zheng
Luyi Yan
Yifei Chen
Xiuqing Zhang
Wenxiang Sun
Jing Lv
Jingyi Zhou
Xiaodan Gu
Xinran Zhao
Wenting Luo
Yanyan Chen
Yongqi Lang
Zilin Wang
Chenyu Gao
Yuanchen Jiang
Runze Li
Yanhe Deng
Xianglong Zeng
Publicatiedatum
12-04-2023
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Mindfulness / Uitgave 5/2023
Print ISSN: 1868-8527
Elektronisch ISSN: 1868-8535
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-023-02121-8

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