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)

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Abstract

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
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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

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