At the recent conference for the Association for Psychological Science, Alessandro Sparacio gave a talk about his meta-analysis on self-administered mindfulness and biofeedback and whether they reduce stress (or stress’ consequences). You can find the abstract below the video and the preprint here.
We conducted a pre-registered meta-analysis to appraise available evidence on two stress regulation strategies: Self-administered mindfulness meditation and heart-rate variability biofeedback. We used a combination of keywords to find as many experimental and observational studies as possible, all of which highlighted a link between the two strategies and different components of stress (physiological, affective, and cognitive) and affective consequences of stress. To provide publication bias-corrected estimates, we employed multilevel regression-based methods and permutation-based selection models. We were unable to detect evidence in favor of the efficacy of either strategy, despite its widespread use. We recommend rigorous, well-documented Randomized Clinical Trials to evaluate whether self-administered mindfulness and heart-rate variability biofeedback have a demonstrated efficacy in decreasing stress.