Mindfulness Interventions for Trauma-Exposed Civilians: A Scoping Review
MetadataShow full item record
Aim: Meditation, mindfulness, and yoga interventions have been shown to be promising treatments for mental illness, including posttraumatic stress disorder. The purpose of this scoping review is to synthesize studies investigating the effects of meditation and yoga interventions for non-veterans and non-military personnel recovering from traumatic life events and to compare the efficacy and the conditions in which the interventions were implemented. Method: A structured search of PubMed and four EBSCO Databases (PsycINFO, Academic Search Ultimate, CINAHL, and SPORTDiscus) was conducted using a combination of free text keywords and controlled vocabulary terms. Eligible studies were included if: (1) treatment is specifically a form of meditation, mind-body therapy, or yoga (2) study participants were reported to have experienced a traumatic life event, (3) study population includes at least 20 subjects, (4) studies measured changes in PTSD symptomology through qualitative or quantitative measures, and (5) studies were published between 2000 and 2020 in English, peer-reviewed journals. Results: Of the 1,583 articles identified in the initial search, 919 titles and abstracts were reviewed after duplicates have been removed. 26 articles met the inclusion criteria. Seventeen studies found significant reductions in PTSD symptomology in participants enrolled in a meditation or yoga intervention. Four found qualitative improvements in symptoms and quality of life in participants. Five found no significant differences between participants in the intervention compared to the control. Sixteen of the interventions were performed in a group setting, nine included group and individual components, and only one was entirely individual. Conclusions: Meditation, mindfulness, and/or yoga interventions have great potential for reduction of PTSD symptomology in trauma-exposed civilian populations. However, environmental conditions including trauma-informed yoga instruction and a group or personal intervention are not highly considered in these studies. Further studies investigating the consideration of the environment for practicing mindfulness interventions are needed to determine how mindfulness interventions can be most effective and trauma-sensitive for participants.
A scoping literature review of mindfulness-based interventions for adult civilian populations exposed for trauma, and suggestions for the direction of future research