Mindfulness-based interventions among people of color: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Psychother Res. 2022 Mar;32(3):277-290. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2021.1937369. Epub 2021 Jun 7.


Objective In the United States, people of color (POC) are disproportionately affected by various sources of stress and prevalent mental and physical health issues that may benefit from Mindfulness-based Interventions (MBIs). However, effects of MBIs for POC are unclear. This meta-analysis examines the efficacy of MBIs through randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that included predominately POC (≥75% of the sample). Method: Random effects models were used to synthesize effect sizes. A total of 24 RCT samples were analyzed. Results: Samples were on average 94.4% POC and predominantly from low-income backgrounds (total N = 2,156). At post-treatment, MBIs yielded small but statistically superior outcomes to active controls (Hedges' g = 0.11) and inactive controls (g = 0.26). Compared to active controls, MBIs' effects on well-being were smaller than their effects on other outcome types. Compared to inactive controls, MBIs that focused on non-clinical populations and had higher proportion of POC had larger effect sizes. Attrition rates of MBIs did not differ from other active conditions in outpatient settings. Conclusion: Findings provide modest, preliminary empirical support for MBIs among POC. We discuss main findings, limitations, and implications for future MBI research for health promotion among POC.

Keywords: evidence-based treatments; meta-analysis; mindfulness; racial/ethnic minorities.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Mindfulness*
  • Outpatients
  • Poverty
  • Skin Pigmentation