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To the Editor I read with appreciation the meta-analysis by Goyal et al1 that summarized evidence for effects of meditation programs on psychological stress and well-being. It restricted studies to randomized clinical trials that used active control groups. The review was nicely done; however, I am concerned it excluded studies with certain types of existing practice control groups such as usual care control groups. This decision was in juxtaposition to the 2009 Institute of Medicine report, titled “Initial National Priorities for Comparative Effectiveness Research,”2(p6) that recommended to “Compare the effectiveness of mindfulness-based interventions (eg, yoga, meditation, deep breathing training) and usual care in treating anxiety and depression, pain, cardiovascular risk factors, and chronic diseases.”
Loucks EB. Meditation Intervention Reviews. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(7):1194–1195. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.1924
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