A recent study called Treatments for Anxiety: Meditation and Escitalopram (TAME) compared an 8-week standardized evidence-based mindfulness-based intervention (mindfulness-based stress reduction, MBSR) with medication for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The study included over 200 adults with a diagnosed anxiety disorder that were assigned to either 8 weeks of the weekly MBSR course or taking a medication for anxiety called escitalopram. The MBSR course involved weekly 2.5 hour classes, 45-minuter daily home exercises, and a day-long weekend retreat during the fourth or sixth week. The classes and home exercises involved mindfulness meditation, body scans (directing attention to one part of the body at a time to increase inward awareness), and mindful movements such as stretching. At the end of the 8 weeks, the results showed that the mindfulness program was just as effective at reducing anxiety as medication.
- Hoge EA, Bui E, Mete M, Dutton MA, Baker AW, Simon NM. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Escitalopram for the Treatment of Adults With Anxiety Disorders: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2023;80(1):13–21. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2022.3679