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Mantra meditation for mental health in the general population: a systematic review
Lynch, Julie; Prihodova, Lucia; Dunne, Pádraic J.; Carroll, Áine; Walsh, Cathal Dominic; McMahon, Geraldine; White, Barry
Introduction: Meditation has attracted increased attention in the literature as a non-pharmacological strategy to foster positive mental health amongst the general population. This systematic review aims to summarise studies of mantra meditation (which includes Transcendental Meditation, TM®) to understand its potential value in fostering positive mental health and alleviating negative affectivity in non-clinical populations. Methods: Electronic databases were searched for English language, peer-reviewed empirical studies (published between 1970 and 2018) that related to mantra meditation, reported at least one outcome of mental health and utilised healthy, non-clinical populations. Studies were assessed for quality and risk of bias using the Quality Appraisal Tool for Quantitative Studies (QATQS). Data abstraction was facilitated by a tailored data extraction form. Results: A total of 2171 records were identified, of which 37 were included in this review. Studies report on outcomes of anxiety, stress, depression, burnout, anger and psychological distress. 78% of studies utilised the TM programme. Findings indicate that mantra meditation interventions may have minimal to moderate beneficial effects on mental health in general populations. Over 90% of studies were considered to be of weak quality. Conclusions: There is some evidence that mantra meditation can improve mental health and negative affectivity in non-clinical populations, however poor study quality may hinder the extent to which one can be certain about the accuracy of these findings. Mantra meditation may be considered a useful adjunct to workplace wellbeing initiatives or educational programmes. Further studies of higher quality that incorporate cost-effectiveness analyses are warranted.
Keyword(s): mantra; meditation; mental health; review
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Funder(s): Health Research Board
Citation(s): European Journal of Integrative Medicine;23, pp. 101-108
Publisher(s): Elsevier
First Indexed: 2018-11-10 06:25:25 Last Updated: 2018-11-10 06:25:25