Listed in Issue 283


LOPEZ-MAYA and COLLEAGUES, 1 Mindful Awareness Research Center and Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California, United States of America conducted a randomized clinical trial to study and analyze the effects of mindfulness meditation upon depressive symptoms in Spanish- and English speaking adults.


Latino immigrants experience acculturative stress and increased depression risk. Mindfulness meditation improves depressive symptoms, yet the vast majority of research has focused on English speaking populations.


In this randomized clinical trial with 2 parallel treatment groups, adults with moderate levels of perceived stress (n = 76) were recruited from the Los Angeles community from October 2015 to March 2016, stratified into Spanish- (n = 36) and English speaking (n = 40) language groups, and randomized for 6 weeks of treatment with standardized mindful awareness practices (MAPs) or health education (HE). Main outcome measure was depressive symptoms, measured by the Beck Depression Inventory.


Using an intent-to-treat analysis, the primary outcome, depressive symptoms as indexed by the Beck Depression Inventory, showed greater improvement in MAPs vs. HE, with a between-group post-intervention mean difference of -2.2 (95% CI -4.4 - -0.07) and effect size of 0.28; similar effect sizes were found in the the Spanish- (0.29) and English speaking (0.30) groups. MAPs showed significant improvement relative to HE on secondary outcome of mindfulness with between group difference of 10.7 (95% CI4.5-16.9), but not perceived stress.


The comparable efficacy of Spanish and English formats of mindfulness meditation in improving depressive symptoms suggests that this community based intervention may mitigate depression risk in Latino adults who are experiencing social adversity. Trial registration: NCT03545074.


Eric Lopez-Maya  1 , Richard Olmstead  1 , Michael R Irwin  1. Mindfulness meditation and improvement in depressive symptoms among Spanish- and English speaking adults: A randomized, controlled, comparative efficacy trial PLoS One ;14 (7):e0219425. doi: 0.1371/journal.pone.0219425. eCollection 2019. Jul 5 2019.     

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