Lead author of the report Nicholas Van Dam, a clinical psychologist and research fellow in psychological sciences at the University of Melbourne, contends potential benefits of mindfulness are being overshadowed by hyperbole and oversold for financial gain. Mindfulness meditation and training is now a $1.1-billion industry in the U.S. alone. “Our report does not mean that mindfulness meditation is not helpful for some things,” Van Dam says. “But the scientific rigor just isn’t there yet to be making these big claims.” He and his co-authors are also concerned that as of 2015, less than 25 percent of meditation trials included monitoring for potential negative effects of the intervention, a number he would like to see grow as the field moves forward.
Van Dam acknowledges that some good evidence does support mindfulness. The 2014 analysis found meditation and mindfulness may provide modest benefits in anxiety, depression and pain. He also cites a 2013 review published in Clinical Psychology Review for mindfulness-based therapy that found similar results. “The intention and scope of this review is welcome—it is looking to introduce rigor and balance into this emerging new field,” says Willem Kuyken, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford in England, who was not involved in research for the new report. “There are many areas where mindfulness-based programs seem to be acceptable and promising, but larger-scale randomized, rigorous trials are needed.”
From article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wheres-the-proof-that-mindfulness-meditation-works1/