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The effectiveness of mindfulness-based intervention for people with schizophrenia: a systematic review

Author(s): Angie Ho Yan Lam, Wai Tong Chien

Background: With its known benefits in other mental illnesses, there have been increasing interest to understand the effects of mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) in schizophrenia. The systematic review aimed to summarize and synthesize the evidence regarding the effectiveness of MBI for people with schizophrenia.

Methods: The review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Relevant studies systematically searched from seven main electronic databases. The studies included were assessed for their methodological qualities using the standard Cochrane’s risk of bias assessment tool. Estimated effect sizes of the main study outcomes were calculated to assess/estimate the magnitude of the treatment effects of MBI in schizophrenia.

Results: Six experimental studies were selected for inclusion in the analysis. The study results were not appropriate to be combined for meta-analysis due to marked variations in the study designs, interventions and reported outcome measures. The findings show that there are potential effects of MBI for patients with schizophrenia on emotional regulation, global functioning and prevention of relapse. However, there was insufficient evidence to indicate these promising effects.

Conclusion: While mindfulness-based intervention may result in several benefits in schizophrenia, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate its promising effects and evidence-based recommendations. More research is warranted to identify the therapeutic components and treatment effects of MBI in diverse samples with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

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