Meditation Interventions for Chronic Disease Populations: A Systematic Review

J Holist Nurs. 2015 Dec;33(4):351-65. doi: 10.1177/0898010115570363. Epub 2015 Mar 2.


The rapidly growing body of research regarding the use of meditation interventions in chronic disease presents an opportunity to compare outcomes based on intervention content. For this review, meditation interventions were described as those interventions delivered to persons with chronic disease where sitting meditation was the main or only content of the intervention with or without the addition of mindful movement. This systematic review identified 45 individual research studies that examined meditations effect on levels of anxiety, depression, and chronic disease symptoms in persons with chronic disease. Individual studies were assessed based on interventional content, the consistency with which interventions were applied, and the research quality. This study identified seven categories of meditation interventions based on the meditation skills and mindful movement practices that were included in the intervention. Overall, half of the interventions had clearly defined and specific meditation interventions (25/45) and half of the studies were conducted using randomized control trials (24/45).

Keywords: chronic disease; evidence-based practice; meditation/mindfulness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Mind-Body Therapies / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Concept
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*