Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

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Nibbida
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Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby Nibbida » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:21 pm

Here's a recent study that pools together the results from 39 studies involving over 1100 participants. Bottom line is that it's effective for anxiety and depression, which is what was looked at in these studies. When studies are analyzed in a group like this, it shows consistency of results and makes for a more convincing case.

Stefan G. Hofmann, Alice T. Sawyer, Ashley A. Witt, and Diana Oh. The Effect of Mindfulness-Based Therapy on Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analytic Review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 2010, Vol. 78, No. 2, 169–183.

http://www.mindfulnessblog.nl/images/pdf/Hofmann_2010_MBT_anxiety_depression_review_metaanalyse.pdf


Nothing we didn't already know, but I like to see the rest of the world catching on.

PeterB
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Re: Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby PeterB » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:29 pm

Good stuff Nibbida :thumbsup:

rowyourboat
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Re: Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:36 pm

What's missing in mindfulness based treatments?
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Ben
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Re: Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:46 pm

Excellent! Thanks Nibbida!
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retrofuturist
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Re: Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:20 pm

Greetings RYB,

rowyourboat wrote:What's missing in mindfulness based treatments?

From a Dhammic perspective, it's the Right View - that which makes the various aspects of the N8P "right".

However, it's good to see that mindfulness, even without Right View, is beneficial in and of itself.

Metta,
Retro. :)
“Delighting in existence O monks, are gods and men; they are attached to existence. they revel in existence. When the Dhamma for the cessation of existence is being preached to them, their minds do not leap towards it, do not get pleased with it, do not get settled in it, do not find confidence in it. That is how, monks, some lag behind … (It. p 43)”

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PeterB
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Re: Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby PeterB » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:27 am

Mindfulness based treatments are treatments ..not Buddha Dhamma.

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Nibbida
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Re: Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby Nibbida » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:51 am

I'm hopeful about mindfulness-based treatments for a few reasons. For one thing, more people meditating is generally a good thing. These programs do incorporate many (but not all) aspects of the Dhamma, like not clinging, disidentifying from thoughts, emotions, and sensations (which is a precursor to anatta). A person who does this regularly enough is not guaranteed but more likely to discover many core Buddhist principles. For example, some studies show that when people are just given mindfulness training, it also increases their compassion, even though that was not specifically taught.

A second reason is that a percentage of people who take to this practice are going to look further and will likely look deeper into Buddhism, knowing that that's where mindfulness-based treatments originate. So when thousands upon thousands of people are exposed to this therapy, that's many people who may not have otherwise found their way to Buddhism. Researchers in this field are churning out research to the point where this is taken seriously now, rather than seeming like some new-agey fringe nonsense.

A third point is that many of the researchers and clinicians who do mindfulness based treatment are also Dhamma practitioners. This is an evolving field, so my impression is that people are gradually explicitly incorporating other aspects of the Dhamma as they figure out ways to work them in. For example Paul Gilbert developed Compassion-Focused Therapy. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is strongly based on emptiness. These psychologists have made a first attempt at incorporating sila into mindfulness therapies:

http://www.ottawamindfulnessclinic.com/documents/5SH.pdf

This article by Shauna Shapiro & B. Allan Wallace integrates many aspects of the Dhamma with contemporary research. It was published in American Psychologist, which is probably the most prestigious psychology journal in the USA:

http://www.sbinstitute.com/mentalbalance.pdf

So no, mindfulness-based therapies are not the full Dhamma.But it's going to be interesting to see how all this progresses.

PeterB
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Re: Meta-analysis of mindfulness-based treatments

Postby PeterB » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:45 am

Agreed. The difference is in the respective aims.
Therapy aims to return the subject to normalised functioning.
Buddha Dhamma aims to end normalised functioning, but is best attempted from a position of relative mental health.


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