Does kindness-based meditation improve health and/or wellbeing in adults?
The following databases will be searched:
1. Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)
8. Google Scholar
Limits: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, Dutch or German language articles only. General search strategy: ((love or loving or kindness or loving-kindness or lovingkindness or compassi* or forgiv* or empath* or maitri or metta or mettha or mudita or karuna or upekkha or upeksa or chesed or "sympathetic joy" or equanimity) and (meditati* or self-inducti*)) or "compassion train*" or "compassion cultivati*" or "christian contemplati*" or "christian meditati*".
Search terms will be modified as necessary for each electronic database searched. Search will be limited to peer-reviewed journals, theses and congress proceedings.
Types of study to be included
Only randomised controlled trials will be included.
Condition or domain being studied
Kindness-based meditation is any meditation technique aimed at eliciting kindness in a conscious way. Examples of these techniques are loving-kindness meditation, compassion meditation and christian contemplation among many others. Some of these have been included in programmes aimed at improving health outcomes and wellbeing.
Kindness-based meditation in any of its forms.
Active control groups.
Quality of life.
Other health indicators according to studied population.
Other indicators closely related to wellbeing such as life satisfaction.
Altruism, empathy and related outcomes.
Data extraction, (selection and coding)
All titles and abstracts of articles identified in the search will be scanned, and papers which clearly do not fulfil all of the eligibility criteria will be excluded. Full text copies of the remaining articles will be obtained and checked against the eligibility criteria, and those that do not meet the eligibility criteria will also be discarded. Those articles that remain will all be included in the systematic review. Two reviewers will independently check through all of the records identified by the search strategy as well as full text articles subsequently retrieved to ensure study selection bias is minimised. Any differences between reviewers will be discussed until a consensus is reached. Data will be extracted by two reviewers independently. Data extraction forms will be tailored to this review.
Risk of bias (quality) assessment
The Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias in randomised trials will be used.
Strategy for data synthesis
We will provide a narrative synthesis of the findings from the included studies. This will be structured according to study design, type of intervention, target population characteristics, type of outcome and intervention content. A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials will be attempted. Studies will be grouped according to the comparison being made, the type of outcome investigated and the follow-up period. Data obtained using the same measure and which are reported as continuous variables (or scales with sufficient number of points to treat variables as continuous) will be pooled using the weighted mean difference (WMD) with a 95% confidence interval (95% CI). When different measures are used to evaluate the same result in a comparison, data will be grouped by calculating the standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% CI. Final values will be used. Dichotomous outcomes will be analysed by calculating relative risk (RR) grouped in each comparison. In order to determine whether combining the results is appropriate, Chi-squared and I-squared tests of heterogeneity were performed. The P-value for Chi-squared will be set conservatively at 0.1.
Analysis of subgroups or subsets
Subgroup analyses will be done according to studied population and type of intervention.
Contact details for further information
Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health
5th Floor, Neuadd Meirionnydd
Cardiff CF14 4YS
Organisational affiliation of the review
Dr Julieta Galante, Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University Dr John Gallacher, Cochrane Institute of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University Dr Marie-Jet Bekkers, TIME Institute, Cardiff University Mr Ignacio Galante, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires
Formal screening of search results against eligibility criteria
Risk of bias (quality) assessment
PROSPERO This information has been provided by the named contact for this review. CRD has accepted this information in good faith and registered the review in PROSPERO. CRD bears no responsibility or liability for the content of this registration record, any associated files or external websites.