(HealthDay News) — Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) are moderately efficacious for improving general health in primary care, and are effective for improving mental health and quality of life, according to a meta-analysis published in the November/December issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Marcelo M.P. Demarzo, PhD, from the Federal University of São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues performed a meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials addressing the effect of MBIs in adult patients. Data were included from six trials, including 553 patients recruited from primary care settings.

The researchers found that the overall effect size of MBI vs. a control condition was moderate for improvement of general health (Hedges g=0.48; P=0.002), with moderate heterogeneity (I² = 59). In overall estimates there was no indication of publication bias. MBIs were found to be efficacious for improving mental health (g=0.56; P=0.007) and quality of life (g=0.29; P=0.002), with high and low heterogeneity, respectively (I²=78 and 0, respectively).

“Although the number of randomized controlled trials applying MBIs in primary care is still limited, our results suggest that these interventions are promising for the mental health and quality of life of primary care patients,” the authors write.

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