Faculty Articles

Title

Assessing the Effectiveness of Yoga as a Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Review and Synthesis.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-1-2017

Keywords

Humans, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Yoga

Publication Title

Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)

ISSN

1557-7708

Volume

23

Issue/No.

10

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition that affects many who have experienced trauma. In addition to skills-focused treatments, exposure-based treatments, cognitive therapy, combination treatments, and EMDR, a number of alternative treatments for PTSD have emerged in recent years. The search for alternative treatments is justified based on the empirical observation that a large percentage of individuals fail to benefit optimally from existing treatments (e.g., between 30 and 60). Moreover, current studies often utilize stringent inclusion criteria (e.g., absence of comorbid disorders), raising the likelihood that results will not generalize to many individuals currently experiencing PTSD. The primary objective of the current paper was to explore the effects of one type of alternative treatment: yoga.

DESIGN: A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted targeting research examining yoga postures and PTSD. Seven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were identified and reviewed, and effect sizes were computed for the post-test assessments.

RESULTS: Cohen's d for each study ranged (in absolute value) from a low of -0.06 to a high of 1.42 (average weighted d across studies was 0.48; 95% CI: 0.26, 0.69).

CONCLUSIONS: Putative mechanisms of action for the possible beneficial effects of yoga for PTSD-related symptomatology and clinical implications are discussed.

DOI

10.1089/acm.2017.0036

PubMed ID

28708415

Peer Reviewed

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