Meditation practices and the therapeutic interventions that involve them are numerous, heterogeneous, and multidimensional. Despite this, many researchers have noted a tendency for studies of meditation- and mindfulness-based interventions to inadequately describe the interventions themselves, limiting valid comparisons, generalizations, and identification of mediators and moderators of therapeutic change. To address this, we identified and organized features of meditation-based interventions reported in study publications as an initial step toward systematically developing a reporting guideline.
A content analysis of 118 meditation-based intervention studies, informed by existing theoretical proposals of key features of meditation practices and interventions.
Significant variability and inconsistency were found in the reporting of structural features of meditation-based programs as well as descriptions of the practices and activities within them. Based on features’ prevalence, co-occurrences, and defining themes, a preliminary Meditation-based Intervention Design (MInD) framework and reporting checklist were developed.
Findings can inform further development of a reporting guideline and aid in identifying variables of meditation practices and their contexts that are responsible for or influence their effects. This can enhance the quality of research in the field and contribute to improving the effectiveness of meditation- and mindfulness-based interventions.