Diabetics reap glycaemic, psychological benefit from mindfulness-based interventions
Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) seem to positively impact glycaemic control and psychological outcomes, such as glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels and disease-related distress, in diabetic patients, reports a new meta-analysis.
Drawing from the online databases of Embase, PubMed, Cochrane, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and CINAHL, the researchers identified eight randomized controlled trials eligible for meta-analysis. The cumulative sample size was 841 patients with either type 1 or 2 diabetes who received a variety of MBIs, including mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR; three studies) and cognitive therapy (MBCT; two studies), a combination of both (one study), and mindful eating (one study).
Pooled analysis of seven studies revealed that MBI led to a 0.25-percent drop in HbA1c (95 percent confidence interval [CI], –0.43 to –0.07; p=0.006), with significant heterogeneity of evidence.
In addition, MBI also provided significant benefits for the patients’ psychological outcomes. For instance, eight trials showed a moderate but significant drop in depressive scores (standardized mean difference [SMD], –0.56, 95 percent CI, –0.82 to –0.30; p<0.0001). However, because the inventories used varied, significant heterogeneity of evidence was detected (p=0.02).
Similarly, there were significant improvements in stress (SMD, –0.53, 95 percent CI, –0.75 to –0.31; p<0.00001) and diabetes-related distress (MD, –5.81, 95 percent CI, –10.10 to –1.52; p=0.008) following MBI, though no such effect could be investigated for anxiety due to large variations in the measurement tools used.
“More studies with longer duration of follow-up are needed to determine the long-term impact on glycaemic control and psychological outcomes,” the researchers said. “Further research is needed on evaluating the impact of MBI on other important outcomes for people with diabetes like cost-effectiveness, self-management, and health-related quality of life.”