, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 318–331 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of Gender Differences in the Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Treatments for Substance Use Disorders

  • Danielle KatzEmail author
  • Brenda Toner


Substance use disorder (SUD) onset, trajectory, comorbidity, and outcome can differ greatly according to sex and gender. Mindfulness-based interventions are promising treatments for SUD; however, as of yet, no systematic review has organized the results of studies examining these treatments according to gender. The purpose of this review was to determine whether gender influences the efficacy and effectiveness of mindfulness-based treatments (MBTs) for substance use. A systematic review was conducted on journal databases, and out of 36 papers that met the criteria for inclusion, 6 included participant gender as a variable. Two papers based on one randomized controlled trial study failed to find gender differences in the efficacy of MBTs for substance use, though a number of quasi-experimental studies and case series did find that women gravitated more towards MBTs or that women may have benefitted more from mindfulness interventions. Overall, MBTs hold promise as treatments for SUD. Additional research on mindfulness-based interventions for SUDs is needed that includes gender as a variable.


Mindfulness Substance use Gender Mindfulness-based relapse prevention Acceptance and commitment therapy Dialectical behavior therapy Vipassanā meditation Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy Mindfulness-based stress reduction Spiritual self-schema 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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