Current Issue - January 2021 - Vol 24 Issue 1


  1. 2021;24;61-72Mind-Body Interventions for Depressive Symptoms in Chronic Pain: A Systematic Review of Meta-Analyses
    Systematic Review
    Abhimanyu Sud, MD, Ka Sing Paris Lai, MD, Darren Kai-Young Cheng, MSc, Chadwick Chung, DC, Oscar Javier Pico-Espinosa, MD, and Danielle B. Rice, MSc.

BACKGROUND: Psychological comorbidities in chronic pain (CP) are common and contribute to adverse health outcomes and poor quality of life. Evidence-based guidance for the management of depressive symptoms in CP is limited, particularly for mind-body interventions.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effectiveness of mind-body interventions for the management of depressive symptoms in people with CP.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review (SR) of SRs.

SETTING: SRs with meta-analyses of clinical interventions for the management of depressive symptoms in people with CP.

METHODS: This SR was reported following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Electronic searches were performed for MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, AMED, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the Joanna Briggs Institute Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports from inception to March 14, 2019. Reference lists and overviews were also hand-searched. SRs of mind-body interventions for CP were included if they conducted a meta-analysis of depression outcomes in people with any CP type not including headache. Two independent reviewers screened, extracted, and evaluated the quality of articles found. Quality was assessed using the AMSTAR 2 criteria and data were summarized narratively with standardized mean differences and 95% confidence intervals of the depression outcome.

RESULTS: Eleven SRs with 20 distinct meta-analyses demonstrated a small to moderate beneficial effect for mind-body interventions (effect sizes: -0.05 to -0.63).

LIMITATIONS: Depressive symptomatology was a subordinate concern compared with other outcomes. The primary literature base was reasonably broad with 33 primary studies, but small when compared with the number of meta-analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: Mind-body interventions show consistent small to moderate effects in reducing depressive symptoms in CP. The literature in this area demonstrates understudy and oversynthesis. There is a need for more clinical trials focusing on people with axial pain, people with comorbid major depressive disorder, and with depression as the primary outcome of interest. Full SR registered on PROSPERO: CRD42019131871.

KEY WORDS: Mind-body, meditation, yoga, depression, chronic pain, umbrella review