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Scoping Review of Mindfulness Research: a Topic Modelling Approach

  • Ying Hwa Kee
  • Chunxiao LiEmail author
  • Leng Chee Kong
  • Crystal Jieyi Tang
  • Kuo-Liang Chuang



As the volume of mindfulness research continues amassing exponentially, there have been attempts to review works in various aspects of mindfulness research systematically. The present study provides a scoping review via a topic modelling approach to supplement the overall research synthesis effort. Specifically, the objective is to scope the mindfulness research by identifying topics relevant to mindfulness research using the probabilistic topic modelling approach.


A literature search based on “mindfulness” returned 5947 bibliographical records from the Web of Science Core Collection platform (for records up to 20 October 2017). The combined field of titles and abstracts was subjected to probabilistic topic modelling based on latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA).


The optimal number of topics suggested was 106. Further interpretation by the research team resulted in a total of 231 Suggested Terms. The terms were further categorised into Condition/Issue, Construct/Philosophy, Modality, Population/Setting and Research Methodology.


The topic modelling process obtained a panoptic view of mindfulness research, providing mindfulness researchers with some indicators regarding the range of topics researched. The outcome of this topic modelling effort has been made available at


Present moment Scoping study Modelling Mapping Research trend. 



We like to thank Clarivate Analytics for Web of Science Core Collection data access. We would also like to thank research assistants for their help with preparing the reference lists for identified topics.

Authors’ Contributions

YHK conceptualised the study, completed the data analysis involving R programming, led the interpretation of Collective Themes and Suggested Terms, wrote the paper and formatted the TiddlyWiki file. CL wrote part of the methods and discussion sections, interpreted the Collective Themes and Suggested Terms and formatted the TiddlyWiki file. LCK wrote part of the discussion section, interpreted the Collective Themes and Suggested Terms and formatted the TiddlyWiki file. CJT wrote part of the introduction section and interpreted the Collective Themes and Suggested Terms. KC analysed the data and prepared the figures depicting the beta cutoff. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicting of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.National Taitung UniversityTaitung CityTaiwan

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