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Background The aim of this study was to systematically investigate the effectiveness of hatha yoga in treating acute, chronic and/or treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders. Methods Medline, Cochrane Library, Current Controlled Trials, Clinical Trials. gov, NHR Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, PsycINFO and CINAHL were searched through June 2018. Randomized controlled trials with patients with mood and anxiety disorders were included. Main outcomes were continuous measures of severity of mood and anxiety symptoms. Cohen's d was calculated as a measure of effect size. Meta-analyses using a random effects model was applied to estimate direct comparisons between yoga and control conditions for depression and anxiety outcomes. Publication bias was visually inspected using funnel plots. Results Eighteen studies were found, fourteen in acute patients and four in chronic patients. Most studies were of low quality. For depression outcomes, hatha yoga did not show a significant effect when compared to treatment as usual, an overall effect size of Cohen's d -0.64 (95% CI = -1.41, 0.13) or to all active control groups, Cohen's d -0.13 (95% CI = -0.49, 0.22). A sub-analysis showed that yoga had a significant effect on the reduction of depression compared to psychoeducation control groups, Cohen's d -0.52 (95% CI = -0.96, -0.08) but not to other active control groups, Cohen's d 0.28 (95% CI = -0.07, 0.63) For studies using a follow-up of six months or more, hatha yoga had no effect on the reduction of depression compared to active control groups, Cohen's d -0.14 (95% CI = -0.60, 0.33). Regarding anxiety, hatha yoga had no significant effect when compared to active control groups, Cohen's d -0.09 (95% CI = -0.47, 0.30). The I-2 and Q-statistic revealed heterogeneity amongst comparisons. Qualitative analyses suggest some promise of hatha yoga for chronic populations. Conclusions The ability to draw firm conclusions is limited by the notable heterogeneity and low quality of most of the included studies. With this caveat in mind, the results of the current meta-analysis suggest that hatha yoga does not have effects on acute, chronic and/or treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders compared to treatment as usual or active control groups. However, when compared to psychoeducation, hatha yoga showed more reductions in depression. It is clear that more high-quality studies are needed to advance the field.

Background The aim of this study was to systematically investigate the effectiveness of hatha yoga in treating acute, chronic and/or treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders. Methods Medline, Cochrane Library, Current Controlled Trials, Clinical Trials. gov, NHR Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, PsycINFO and CINAHL were searched through June 2018. Randomized controlled trials with patients with mood and anxiety disorders were included. Main outcomes were continuous measures of severity of mood and anxiety symptoms. Cohen's d was calculated as a measure of effect size. Meta-analyses using a random effects model was applied to estimate direct comparisons between yoga and control conditions for depression and anxiety outcomes. Publication bias was visually inspected using funnel plots. Results Eighteen studies were found, fourteen in acute patients and four in chronic patients. Most studies were of low quality. For depression outcomes, hatha yoga did not show a significant effect when compared to treatment as usual, an overall effect size of Cohen's d -0.64 (95% CI = -1.41, 0.13) or to all active control groups, Cohen's d -0.13 (95% CI = -0.49, 0.22). A sub-analysis showed that yoga had a significant effect on the reduction of depression compared to psychoeducation control groups, Cohen's d -0.52 (95% CI = -0.96, -0.08) but not to other active control groups, Cohen's d 0.28 (95% CI = -0.07, 0.63) For studies using a follow-up of six months or more, hatha yoga had no effect on the reduction of depression compared to active control groups, Cohen's d -0.14 (95% CI = -0.60, 0.33). Regarding anxiety, hatha yoga had no significant effect when compared to active control groups, Cohen's d -0.09 (95% CI = -0.47, 0.30). The I-2 and Q-statistic revealed heterogeneity amongst comparisons. Qualitative analyses suggest some promise of hatha yoga for chronic populations. Conclusions The ability to draw firm conclusions is limited by the notable heterogeneity and low quality of most of the included studies. With this caveat in mind, the results of the current meta-analysis suggest that hatha yoga does not have effects on acute, chronic and/or treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders compared to treatment as usual or active control groups. However, when compared to psychoeducation, hatha yoga showed more reductions in depression. It is clear that more high-quality studies are needed to advance the field.

Cross-sectional and intervention research have shown that mindfulness is inversely associated with difficulties in controlling alcohol use. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms through which mindfulness is related to increased control over drinking. One potential mechanism consists of the way individuals represent their drinking behaviour. Action identification theory proposes that self-control of behaviour is improved by shifting from high-level representations regarding the meaning of a behaviour to lower-level representations regarding “how-to” aspects of a behaviour. Because mindfulness involves present-moment awareness, it may help to facilitate such shifts. We hypothesized that an inverse relation between mindfulness and dyscontrolled drinking would be partially accounted for by the way individuals mentally represent their drinking behaviour — i.e., reduced levels of high-level action identification and increased levels of low-level action identification. One hundred and twenty five undergraduate psychology students completed self-report measures of mindful awareness, action identification of alcohol use, and difficulty in controlling alcohol use. Results supported the hypothesis that high-level action identification partially mediates the relation between mindfulness and dyscontrolled drinking but did not support a mediating role for low-level action identification. These results suggest that mindfulness can improve self-control of alcohol by changing the way we think about our drinking behaviour.

In this chapter, we begin to explore the wealth of research and theory on the implications of mindfulness for emotional experience by examining a variety of models of mindfulness and how they inform mindful emotion regulation. Then, we provide an empirical overview of the role of mindfulness in general emotional states, emotional reactions to stimuli and events, and emotions over time. Within this overview, we provide evidence for several distinct avenues through which mindfulness benefits emotion regulation, including increased willingness to experience negative emotions, reduced reactivity to emotional stimuli and situations, a decentered perspective, and increased emotional stability; we also highlight some research which suggests the neurological underpinnings of mindful emotion regulation. Finally, we link the impact of mindfulness on emotion regulation to behavioral change. Specifically, by highlighting research on smoking, alcohol use, and other addictive behaviors, we demonstrate that emotion regulation serves as a key mechanism in the relationship between mindfulness and some domains of behavioral regulation.

Despite the availability of various substance abuse treatments, alcohol and drug misuse and related negative consequences remain prevalent. Vipassana meditation (VM), a Buddhist mindfulness-based practice, provides an alternative for individuals who do not wish to attend or have not succeeded with traditional addiction treatments. In this study, the authors evaluated the effectiveness of a VM course on substance use and psychosocial outcomes in an incarcerated population. Results indicate that after release from jail, participants in the VM course, as compared with those in a treatment-as-usual control condition, showed significant reductions in alcohol, marijuana, and crack cocaine use. VM participants showed decreases in alcohol-related problems and psychiatric symptoms as well as increases in positive psychosocial outcomes. The utility of mindfulness-based treatments for substance use is discussed.