Effects of mindfulness-based interventions on alexithymia: a systematic review

Norman, Hilary, Marzano, Lisa, Coulson, Mark and Oskis, Andrea (2018) Effects of mindfulness-based interventions on alexithymia: a systematic review. Evidence-Based Mental Health . ISSN 1362-0347 (Published online first) (doi:10.1136/ebmental-2018-300029)

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (490kB) | Preview


Question: Alexithymia has been found to be modifiable through treatment, with associated clinical benefits. Recent studies have begun to test the potential of mindfulness-based interventions to reduce alexithymia, using skills-based, group training to improve non-judgmental, present moment awareness. The objective of this review therefore was to conduct a systematic synthesis to assess the current state of knowledge about the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on alexithymia to inform clinical practice.
Study Selection and Analysis: We carried out a systematic review of the literature and found four randomised controlled trials of the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on alexithymia, with a combined total of 460 participants.
Findings: A random effects meta-analysis, combining study endpoint data, showed a statistically significant effect of mindfulness-based treatment on alexithymia, (Toronto Alexithymia Scale [TAS20]) compared with the control group (mean difference = -5.28, 95% CI -9.28 to -1.28, p=0.010). Subgroup analysis was conducted to investigate sources of heterogeneity (I2=52%). Heterogeneity was reduced when the meta-analysis was restricted to interventions of a similar duration (three months or less).
Conclusions: Findings from our study should be replicated in further research with larger samples; however, the results indicate that mindfulness-based interventions may be an effective treatment in reducing alexithymia.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 24516
Notes on copyright: This article has been accepted for publication in Evidence-Based Mental Health, 2018 following peer review, and the Version of Record can be accessed online at DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ebmental-2018-300029
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Lisa Marzano
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 15:55
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 11:37
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/24516

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item

Full text downloads (NB count will be zero if no full text documents are attached to the record)

Downloads per month over the past year