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Research & Studies

Psychological Effects of Online-based Mindfulness Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Citation (APA style): Yeun, Y. R., & Kim, S. D. (2022). Psychological effects of online-based mindfulness programs during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(3), 1624. doi:10.3390/ijerph19031624


Background: The COVID-19 outbreak has caused psychological problems worldwide. This review explored the psychological effects of online-based mindfulness programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: This systematic review was guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Randomized controlled trials that were published in the English language from January 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021 on online-based mindfulness programs for psychological problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic were searched in electronic databases. Quality assessment was conducted on the retrieved RCTs using the Cochrane risk of bias tool for RCTs.

Results: Six RCTs were included in this review [including one on EFT tapping]. Quality appraisal of included RCTs ranged from 1 for low risk of bias to 5 for high risk of bias. There is evidence from the six RCTs that online-based mindfulness interventions may have favorable effects for reducing the levels of psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, and stress.

Conclusions: Online-based mindfulness programs may be used as complementary interventions for clinical populations, healthy individuals, and healthcare workers with psychological problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Note: The authors concluded about the tapping RCT study: “Interestingly, tapping practice as an emotional freedom technique showed a significant decline in the level of anxiety and stress in the trained group compared to the control group, which can be evaluated as evidence for a reduction in anxiety and stress levels in nurses caring for COVID-19 patients.”]


COVID-19, online mindfulness, psychological problem, systematic review, randomized controlled trial

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