Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is mindfulness-based stress reduction effective in decreasing symptoms of anxiety for individuals with anxiety disorder?”

STUDY DESIGN: A selective review of three peer-reviewed, randomized control trials published after 2008.

DATA SOURCES: All three randomized control trials were published in the English language and were selected from peer-reviewed journals via the PubMed Database based on their relevance to the clinical question posed above and if they included patient-oriented outcomes (POEM).

OUTCOMES MEASURED: All articles analyzed the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in decreasing symptoms of anxiety in individuals with anxiety disorder. Improved anxiety symptoms were measured as the following: Self-reported anxiety was measured using the 21-item Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), symptoms of anxiety were assessed with the structural interview guided for the HAM-A (Hamilton Anxiety Scale), clinical symptoms and wellbeing were assessed using the Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale Self-Report and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (straightforward items).

RESULTS: Hoge et al. found the MBSR to be associated with significant reduction in anxiety as measured by the CGI-S, CGI-I and BAI P<0.0001; J Clin Psychiatry. 2013;74(8):786-792. doi: 10.4088/JCP.12m08083 [doi]. Goldin et al. found that among MBSR participants, total meditation practice was associated with decrease in negative emotion and social anxiety symptom severity P<0.02; Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2013;8(1):65-72. doi: 10.1093/scan/nss054 [doi]. Boettcher et al. revealed that participants in the MBSR group showed a larger decrease of anxiety from pre- to post -assessment than participants of the control group P<0.001; Behav Ther. 2014;45(2):241-253. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2013.11.003 [doi]

CONCLUSION: According to all three articles listed above, MBSR is shown to effectively decrease symptoms of anxiety in individuals with anxiety disorder. Since all three articles lacked blinded participants and made use of numerous patient questionnaires, it shows that concise and well-defined methods of scientific analysis are required in order to fully study the effect of MBSR in reduction of anxiety symptoms.