Individual differences in meditation interventions: A meta-analytic study

Ivana Buric, Miguel Farias, Josi M. A. Driessen, Inti A. Brazil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


Meditation interventions typically show small to moderate effects on health and well-being, but we know little about how these effects vary across individuals. This meta-analytic study investigates the relationship between baseline participant characteristics and the outcomes of meditation.
A systematic search yielded 51 eligible studies with 7782 participants. A combination of subgroup analyses and meta-regression based on the random-effects model were used.
We found that a higher baseline level of psychopathology or depression was associated with deterioration in mental health after a meditation intervention. On the other hand, participants with higher scores on interpersonal variables, motivation, medical conditions, and mindfulness showed higher levels of positive meditation outcomes. Higher well-being and stress were simultaneously associated with moderate increases in negative and positive meditation outcomes. Participant demographics, psychological traits, self-concept, and length of meditation practice did not significantly influence the response to meditation.
Overall, we found that meditation interventions affect participants differently, and identified some of the individual characteristics that should be considered when using meditation interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1076
Number of pages34
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number3
Early online date27 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use,distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes
This article has earned an Open Data Badge for making publicly available the digitally-shareable data necessary to reproduce the reported results. The data is available at


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