Limitations of current findings and future directions

Despite the positive findings from initial studies on mindfulness-based and mindfulness-related interventions for substance use disorders, smoking, eating disorders, and obesity, many of the extant studies included small sample sizes, lacked randomization to treatment, and did not employ well- established treatments (i.e., cognitive behavioral therapy) as comparison groups. Additionally, there is a wide variety of mindfulness involvement in interventions, with some interventions emphasizing formal meditation (i.e., MBRP) more than others (i.e., DBT, ACT). Thus, it is still unclear whether practicing formal meditation is a mechanism of action in mindfulness interventions. Finally, while mindfulness-based interventions appear effective as aftercare treatments or additive components to existing interventions, there is still limited evidence to suggest that mindfulness-based interventions can be effective as primary stand-alone treatments. Altogether, although current evidence indicates that MBIs and other third wave therapies are promising treatments for substance use disorders, eating disorders, and obesity, there is still a need for more rigorous research on the efficacy and mechanisms of action of mindfulness-based interventions compared to other well-established treatments.

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