Mindfulness-based therapies in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders: a meta-analysis

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:140724. doi: 10.1155/2014/140724. Epub 2014 Sep 11.

Abstract

Background. Functional gastrointestinal disorders are highly prevalent and standard treatments are often unsatisfactory. Mindfulness-based therapy has shown benefit in conditions including chronic pain, mood, and somatization disorders. Objectives. To assess the quality and effectiveness reported in existing literature, we conducted a meta-analysis of mindfulness-based therapy in functional gastrointestinal disorders. Methods. Pubmed, EBSCO, and Cochrane databases were searched from inception to May 2014. Study inclusion criteria included randomized, controlled studies of adults using mindfulness-based therapy in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Study quality was evaluated using the Cochrane risk of bias. Effect sizes were calculated and pooled to achieve a summary effect for the intervention on symptom severity and quality of life. Results. Of 119 records, eight articles, describing seven studies, met inclusion criteria. In six studies, significant improvements were achieved or maintained at the end of intervention or follow-up time points. The studies had an unclear or high risk of bias. Pooled effects were statistically significant for IBS severity (0.59, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.86) and quality of life (0.56, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.79). Conclusion. Studies suggest that mindfulness based interventions may provide benefit in functional gastrointestinal disorders; however, substantial improvements in methodological quality and reporting are needed.

Publication types

  • Review