Can ACT and Mindfulness Help Ease the Burden of Common Medical Problems?Can Mindfulness Help Prevent Illness in Healthy Adults and Children?
ACT is closely related to other mindfulness-based approaches, sometimes called “fellow travellers” and two in particular are Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction – MBCT and MBSR.
An important recent review article in the highest profile open source Journal, “Plos one”, showed “Conclusion – The evidence supports the use of MBCT and MBSR to alleviate symptoms, both mental and physical, in the adjunct treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, depression, anxiety disorders and in prevention in healthy adults and children.”
13 RCTs showed significant beneficial effect on anxiety. 17 RCTs showed benefit. In this review mindfulness were shown to be helpful with psychological adjustment to cancer, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, also various mental disorders and mixed populations. Mindfulness helped subclinical anxiety in healthy populations, also depressive symptoms and stress. In children and adolescents significant intergroup improvement in stress, anxiety and several symptoms were found, with more time spent in sitting meditation predictive.
Important review of the evidence of mindfulness based clinical psychology interventions for many conditions, with many countries across the globe, showed beneficial effects mostly in mental health outcomes: depression, anxiety, stress and quality of life all improving significantly. And chronic care mindfulness helped coping with pain, depression, anxiety and stress, and improved quality of life.
Similarly, the most recent meta-analysis of the ACT literature found ACT was superior to waitlist, to psychological placebo and to the standard treatment as usual. ACT was also superior on secondary outcomes, life satisfaction/quality measures and process measures compared to control conditions.
All of the recent meta-analyses have similar findings and some meta-analyses have found superiority for ACT over traditional CBT methods.
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