Systematic Review and Meta-analysis: Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dana DiRenzo, Monica Crespo-Bosque, Neda Gould, Patrick Finan, Julie Nanavati, Clifton O. Bingham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: To determine the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) on clinical and patient-reported outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recent Findings: We identified randomized clinical trials from inception through April 2018 from MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, and hand searches. After screening 338 references, we included five trials with one post-hoc analysis that evaluated MBIs and collectively included 399 participants. Outcome instruments were heterogeneous across studies. Three studies evaluated RA clinical outcomes by a rheumatologist; one study found improvements in disease activity. A limited meta-analysis found no statistically significant difference in the levels of DAS28-CRP in the two studies that evaluated this metric (− 0.44 (− 0.99, 0.12); I2 0%). Four studies evaluated heterogeneous psychological outcomes, and all found improvements including depressive symptoms, psychological distress, and self-efficacy. A meta-analysis of pain Visual Analog Scale (VAS) levels post intervention from three included studies was not significantly different between MBI participants and control group (− 0.58 (− 1.26, 0.10); I2 0%) although other studies not included in meta-analysis found improvement. Summary: There are few trials evaluating the effect of MBIs on outcomes in patients with RA. Preliminary findings suggest that MBIs may be a useful strategy to improve psychological distress in those with RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number75
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Mindfulness
  • Mindfulness-based interventions
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stress
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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