Psychological core processes that underpin disorders due to addictive behaviors, including craving, inhibitory control, maladaptive decision-making, and cognitive biases, are important factors to target and modify in interventions. Mindfulness-based and neurofeedback techniques have been particularly promising interventions. The aim of the present systematic review (PROSPERO ID: CRD42020200113) was to evaluate the research evidence on their effectiveness for behavioral addictions. Empirical intervention studies in the realm of nonsubstance addictive behaviors fulfilled the inclusion criteria, which led to 15 studies and 297 participants being included in this review among PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge. Results suggest that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in reducing mental distress and craving reactions. Reductions in craving levels were reported in four of six studies with biggest effects for mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-enhanced cognitive behavioral therapy. Successful reductions in mental distress were identified in five of seven studies that used diverse mindfulness-based techniques. However, no more than one study on mindfulness-based interventions reporting improvements in self-control, inhibitory control, maladaptive decision-making, and cognitive biases could be identified. No research could be found on neurofeedback. This review highlights the potential of mindfulness interventions for these disorders, and the specific mechanisms of therapeutic change warrant further investigation.
- Addictive behaviors
- Affective/cognitive mechanisms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology