GIM’s assistant professor Madhav Goyal, MD, MPH is the lead author of a study published online on Jan. 6, 2014 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine that is attracting widespread media attention. The journal article, titled “Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis” reviews the findings of 47 trials of the health effects of meditation programs on over 3,500 study participants. After carefully controlling for the placebo effect, the authors found that mindfulness meditation resulted in moderate improvements in anxiety, depression and pain. They also found no evidence or insufficient evidence of an improvement in several other measures of health or well-being, such as mood, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight.
At the same time, no evidence of harm from meditation was found. Dr. Goyal and his co-authors conclude that meditation can be considered by practicing physicians as a treatment to consider with their patients who are suffering from psychological stress or stress-related ailments. Other GIM faculty members among the authors of this study are Drs. Sonal Singh, Anastasia Rowland-Seymour, Zackary Berger, Padmini Ranasinghe and Eric Bass.
Since its Monday publication, the research has made news around the world, and Dr. Goyal has been sought out for interviews by many media sources. According to GIM’s media relations representative, Stephanie Desmon, stories have appeared in a multitude of news sources, some of which are included below. At one point, it was one of the top health stories in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, France, the Netherlands and Spain, according to the website Newsmap, which aggregates data from Google News. The front page of the JAMA Internal Medicine website also features an audio interview with Dr. Goyal about the research project in its "Current Highlights" section.
Below is a sampling of the media coverage of the JAMA Internal Medicine article, with links to each source’s coverage:
JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE NEWS RELEASE
JAMA Internal Medicine - Author interview with Dr. Goyal
GENERAL INTEREST WEBSITES