Effectiveness of meditation retreats: meta-analysis

Khoury, B., at al. (2017). Effectiveness of traditional meditation retreats: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of psychosomatic research92, 16-25, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2016.11.006. Taken from the Abstract.

Background. An increasing number of studies are investigating traditional retreats. Very little, however, is known about their effectiveness.

Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of meditation retreats on improving in general population. A total of 20 papers (N = 2912) were included.

Results suggested large effects on measures of anxiety, depression, stress, and moderate effects on measures of emotional regulation and quality of life. As to potential mechanisms of actions, results showed large effects on measures of  mindfulness and compassion, and moderate effects on measures of acceptance. 

Reducing burnout in police officers

Trombka, Marcelo, et al., Study protocol of a multicenter randomized controlled trial of mindfulness training to reduce burnout and promote quality of life in police officers. BMC Psychiatry, 2018, vol. 18. no. 151, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-018-1726-7. Full text.

Background. Police officers experience a high degree of chronic stress. Policing ranks among the highest professions in terms of disease and accident rates. Mental health is particularly impacted, evidenced by elevated rates of burnout, anxiety and depression, and poorer quality of life than the general public.

Mindfulness training has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, burnout and promote quality of life in a variety of settings, although its efficacy in this context has yet to be systematically evaluated. Therefore, this trial will investigate the efficacy of a mindfulness-based intervention versus a waitlist control in improving quality of life and reducing negative mental health symptoms in police officers.

May protect older adults from effects of stress on mental health

de Frias, C. M., & Whyne, E. (2014). Stress on health-related quality of life in older adults: the protective nature of mindfulness. Aging & Mental Health, (ahead-of-print), 1-6. Full text.

From the Abstract. The current study examined whether the link between stress and health-related quality of life was buffered by protective factors, namely mindfulness, in a sample of middle-aged and older adults.

In this cross-sectional study, 134 healthy, community-dwelling adults (ages 50–85 years) were recruited from Dallas, TX. The participants were screened for depressive symptoms and severity. All participants completed measures of self-reported health status, life stress, and trait mindfulness.

The results suggest that mindfulness is a powerful, adaptive strategy that may protect middle-aged and older adults from the well-known harmful effects of stress on mental health.