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J Asthma. 2018 Jul;55(7):771-778. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2017.1365887. Epub 2017 Oct 13.

Meditation for asthma: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
a Department of Primary Care and Public Health , Brighton and Sussex Medical School , Brighton , United Kingdom.
2
b Department of Clinical Medicine , Brighton and Sussex Medical School , Brighton , United Kingdom.
3
c Family Medicine and Primary Care , Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine , Singapore , Singapore.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To conduct a comprehensive review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of meditation on a variety of asthma outcomes.

METHODS:

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO and AMED in June 2016 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effectiveness of meditation in adults with asthma. No restriction was put on language or year of publication. Study quality was assessed using The Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Meta-analysis was carried out using RevMan 5.3.

RESULTS:

Four RCTs involving 201 patients met the inclusion criteria. Quality of studies was inconsistent with only one study reporting adequate allocation concealment. Disease-specific quality of life was assessed in two trials; a pooled result involving 62 intervention and 65 control participants indicated a significant improvement in quality of life in the meditation group compared to the control group (SMD 0.40, 95% CI 0.05-0.76). A pooled result from all four studies indicated the uncertain effect of meditation in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (SMD -0.67, 95% CI -2.17 to 0.82). Results from the individual trials suggest that meditation may be helpful in reducing perceived stress and the use of short-term rescue medication.

CONCLUSION:

Our review suggests that there is some evidence that meditation is beneficial in improving quality of life in asthma patients. As two out of four studies in our review were of poor quality, further trials with better methodological quality are needed to support or refute this finding.

KEYWORDS:

Meditation; asthma; lung function; mindfulness; quality of life; randomized controlled trials

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