A new study from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, lead by Dr. Madhav Goyal, suggests that there is moderate evidence to support using mindfulness meditation in treatments for anxiety, depression, and pain.
For the new report, the researchers searched several electronic databases that catalog medical research for trials that randomly assigned people with a certain condition—such as anxiety, pain or depression—to do meditation or another activity. These randomized controlled trials are considered the gold standard of medical research.
The researchers found 47 studies with over 3,500 participants that met their criteria.
After combining the data, Goyal said his team found between a 5 and 10 percent improvement in anxiety symptoms among people who took part in mindfulness meditation, compared to those who did another activity.
There was also about a 10 to 20 percent improvement in symptoms of depression among those who practiced mindfulness meditation, compared to the other group.