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Descilo T, Vedamurtachar A, Gerbarg PL, Nagaraja D, Gangadhar BN, Damodaran B, Adelson B, Braslow LH, Marcus S, Brown RP. Effects of a yoga breath intervention alone and in combination with an exposure therapy for PTSD and depression in survivors of the 2004 South-East Asia tsunami. Objective: This study evaluated the effect of a yoga breath program alone and followed by a trauma reduction exposure technique on post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in survivors of the 2004 Asian tsunami. Method: In this non-randomized study, 183 tsunami survivors who scored 50 or above on the Post-traumatic Checklist-17 (PCL-17) were assigned by camps to one of three groups: yoga breath intervention, yoga breath intervention followed by 3-8 h of trauma reduction exposure technique or 6-week wait list. Measures for post-traumatic stress disorder (PCL-17) and depression (BDI-21) were performed at baseline and at 6, 12 and 24 weeks. Data were analyzed using anova and mixed effects regression. Results: The effect of treatment vs. control was significant at 6 weeks (F2,178 = 279.616, P < 0.001): mean PCL-17 declined by 42.5 ± 10.0 SD with yoga breath, 39.2 ± 17.2 with Yoga breath + exposure and 4.6 ± 13.2 in the control. Conclusion: Yoga breath-based interventions may help relieve psychological distress following mass disasters. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
OBJECTIVES:The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) course in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) outpatients, who after eight weeks of an appropriate dose of traditional therapy had not yet achieved remission. SUBJECTS: The adult participants (18-65 years) were outpatients with a primary diagnosis of GAD with or without comorbidities on the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Participants had a minimum of eight weeks standard treatment with an appropriate dose of a standard prescription anxiolytic, a clinician global impression-severity (CGI-S) score of 5-7, a Hamilton anxiety scale (HAM-A) total score ≥20 including a score of >2 on the anxious mood and tension items. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty-one patients were enrolled in an open-label trial of the SKY course as an adjunct to standard treatment of GAD at the START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a tertiary care mood and anxiety disorder clinic in Toronto. The SKY course was administered over five days (22 h total). Subjects were encouraged to practice the yoga breathing techniques at home for 20 min per day after the course and were offered group practice sessions for 2 h once a week led by certified yoga instructors. The primary outcome measure was the mean change from pre-treatment on the HAM-A scale. Psychological measures were obtained at baseline and four weeks after completing the intervention. RESULTS: Thirty-one patients completed the program (mean age 42.6 ± 13.3 years). Among completers, significant reductions occurred in the pre- and post-intervention mean HAM-A total score (t=4.59; P<0.01) and psychic subscale (t=5.00; P≤0.01). The response rate was 73% and the remission rate 41% as measured on the HAM-A. CONCLUSION: The results of this small pilot trial suggest that the SKY course represents a potentially valuable adjunct to standard pharmacotherapy in patients with GAD or treatment-resistant GAD, and warrants further investigation. In particular, changes in worry and body symptoms showed significant improvements that may further our understanding of the mechanism of change in the tolerance of anxiety and worry.