Summarize existing literature on cognitive outcomes of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for individuals with depression.
Following PRISMA (2021) guidance, we conducted a systematic review. We searched databases for studies published from 2000 to 2020 which examined cognitive outcomes of MBSR and MBCT in individuals with at least mild depressive symptoms. The search results in 10 studies (11 articles) meeting inclusion criteria.
We identified five single-arm trials and five randomized controlled trials. Results indicated that three studies did not show any improvements on cognitive outcomes, and seven studies showed at least one improvement in cognitive outcomes.
Overall, the review highlighted several inconsistencies in the literature including inconsistent use of terminology, disparate samples, and inconsistent use of methodology. These inconsistencies may help to explain the mixed results of MBSR and MBCT on cognitive outcomes. Recommendations include a more streamlined approach to studying cognitive outcomes in depressed individuals in the context of MBSR and MBCT.