Participation in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Is Associated with Protection from Harmful Outcomes
Mindfulness has become a common method for reducing stress-related and some physical symptoms. As mindfulness programs have become more common, it is important to assess any potential for harm. These investigators from the University of Wisconsin evaluated multiple potential harms following Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) among over 2000 participants including global psychological and physical symptoms, anxiety and depressive symptoms, discomfort in interpersonal relations, paranoid ideation and psychoticism. They found no evidence that MBSR leads to higher rates of harm across all 22 different outcomes they evaluated. On half the indices of harm they assessed, MBSR led to significantly lower rates of harm than no treatment. The investigators concluded that rather than MBSR being associated with increased rates of harm relative to no treatment that MBSR may be protective against multiple indices of harm.
Hirshberg MJ, Goldberg SB, Rosenkranz M, Davidson RJ. Psychological Medicine 2022;52:1080-1088.
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