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22-02-2019 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 8/2019

Mindfulness 8/2019

The Effects of Mindfulness Retreats on the Psychological Health of Non-clinical Adults: a Meta-analysis

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness > Uitgave 8/2019
Auteurs:
Andrew S. McClintock, Marcus A. Rodriguez, Noga Zerubavel
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Abstract

Objectives

Mindfulness retreats are typically marketed to healthy adult populations as a means for optimizing psychological health. We conducted a meta-analysis of the effects of mindfulness retreats on the psychological functioning of relatively healthy adults.

Methods

A comprehensive literature search using PsychINFO, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar yielded 19 studies. Studies varied in design, sample characteristics, retreat intensity and duration, and psychological outcomes studied.

Results

Many of the reviewed studies lacked methodological rigor. Overall effect sizes (Hedges’ g) for mindfulness retreats relative to control conditions were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.38, 1.18) for mindfulness and 0.37 (95% CI, 0.19, 0.55) for well-being outcomes. In pre-post-retreat analyses, effect sizes were 0.77 (95% CI, 0.61, 0.94) for mindfulness; 0.47 (95% CI, 0.30, 0.63) for well-being; − 0.48 (95% CI, − 0.79, − 0.16) for depression; − 0.67 (95% CI, − 1.03, − 0.31) for anxiety; and − 0.94 (95% CI, − 1.28, − 0.61) for stress outcomes. In an analysis from pre-retreat to follow-up, an effect size of 0.58 (95% CI, 0.39, 0.77) was found for mindfulness outcomes.

Conclusions

These results suggest that mindfulness retreats are associated with improvements in mental health. Limitations, directions for future research, and implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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