A Meta-analytic Review of Mindfulness-based Interventions on Symptom Reduction: A Critique and Guide for Future Investigation


Justin Ross

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John McNeill

Second Advisor

Ragnar Storaasli

Third Advisor

Mathew Brink


Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy


Over the past decade, mindfulness practices have been used with increasing frequency as therapeutic components within cognitive behavioral treatment regimens. As is standard practice, prescriptive uses of mindfulness intervention are incorporated to improve end-state functioning by ameliorating problematic symptoms and conditions. Common change-targets include the control of cognitive and emotional content for purposes of enhancing psychological self-regulation and physical well-being. The term mindfulness applies to a heterogeneous range of practices, methods, and techniques. While there is no singular agreed upon definition for mindfulness, as a process concept, the term connotes an immediate, non-thetic access to events, wherein each occasioning event is experienced in toto within the broader contextual event-field, and distinct from intervening conceptual themes being noticed. Training in mindfulness practices may be conducted using individual, group, or small class formats. The current paper provides a meta-analytic review of 44 treatment outcome studies (extracted 1982 through 2006), which examines the clinical utility of mindfulness as the primary therapeutic approach. Results indicated that average effect sizes for mindfulness based interventions fell within the medium range for construct category variables examined (d = .56). These findings suggest that mindfulness training is a cost-effective treatment for a wide array of contemporary psychological problems and diagnoses, in addition to fostering positive psychology attributes such as quality and satisfaction with life. A critique of the research and recommendations for future research, including a need to examine the role of mindfulness as a tool for cultivating increased psychological acceptance and life satisfaction, is presented.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


48 pages

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