Role of meditation to improve children's health: Time to look at other strategies

Author: Nina A Wilson1,2, Maura A Kenny3, Alexia S Peña1,2
Author Information:
1 Discipline of Paediatrics, Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
2 Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Women's and Children's Hospital, SA Health, Government of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
3 Centre for the Treatment of Anxiety and Depression, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, SA Health, Government of South Australia, Thebarton, South Australia, Australia.
Conference/Journal: J Paediatr Child Health
Date published: 2020 Nov 20
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1111/jpc.15275. , Word Count: 217

In the United States, it is reported that up to 7 million of the population practice some form of meditation with the main purpose of improving emotional wellbeing and reducing stress. As the prevalence of mental health conditions continues to climb, other forms of health management strategies, including meditation practices, are increasingly used in adults. The evidence continues to emerge for the use of meditation as a way of managing health conditions in adults as demonstrated in systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials. There is also growing evidence evaluating the use of meditation practices and their potential benefits for child and adolescent health. Studies have identified improvements in mood and mental health conditions, school attendance and attention in the classroom in children and adolescents. This article aims to provide a perspective on commonly evaluated meditation types, such as Transcendental Meditation and mindfulness-based stress reduction. The article also aims to discuss the available evidence for the use of meditation to improve health and general wellbeing of children, including the use of meditation programs in schools, the current downfalls and limitations to the existing literature around meditation, and important points that healthcare practitioners need to consider when discussing the use of meditation as an additional strategy to manage and improve health and wellbeing in children and adolescents.

PMID: 33217077 DOI: 10.1111/jpc.15275