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Adjunctive yoga v. health education for persistent major depression: a randomized controlled trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 April 2017

L. A. Uebelacker*
Affiliation:
Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, USA Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
G. Tremont
Affiliation:
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA
L. T. Gillette
Affiliation:
Eyes of the World Yoga Center, North Kingstown, RI, USA
G. Epstein-Lubow
Affiliation:
Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, USA Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
D. R. Strong
Affiliation:
University of California, San Diego, CA, USA
A. M. Abrantes
Affiliation:
Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, USA Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
A. R. Tyrka
Affiliation:
Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, USA Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
T. Tran
Affiliation:
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI, USA
B. A. Gaudiano
Affiliation:
Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, USA Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
I. W. Miller
Affiliation:
Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, USA Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
*
*Address for correspondence: L. A. Uebelacker, Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906, USA. (Email: luebelacker@butler.org)

Abstract

Background

The objective of this study was to determine whether hatha yoga is an efficacious adjunctive intervention for individuals with continued depressive symptoms despite antidepressant treatment.

Method

We conducted a randomized controlled trial of weekly yoga classes (n = 63) v. health education classes (Healthy Living Workshop; HLW; n = 59) in individuals with elevated depression symptoms and antidepressant medication use. HLW served as an attention-control group. The intervention period was 10 weeks, with follow-up assessments 3 and 6 months afterwards. The primary outcome was depression symptom severity assessed by blind rater at 10 weeks. Secondary outcomes included depression symptoms over the entire intervention and follow-up periods, social and role functioning, general health perceptions, pain, and physical functioning.

Results

At 10 weeks, we did not find a statistically significant difference between groups in depression symptoms (b = −0.82, s.e. = 0.88, p = 0.36). However, over the entire intervention and follow-up period, when controlling for baseline, yoga participants showed lower levels of depression than HLW participants (b = −1.38, s.e. = 0.57, p = 0.02). At 6-month follow-up, 51% of yoga participants demonstrated a response (⩾50% reduction in depression symptoms) compared with 31% of HLW participants (odds ratio = 2.31; p = 0.04). Yoga participants showed significantly better social and role functioning and general health perceptions over time.

Conclusions

Although we did not see a difference in depression symptoms at the end of the intervention period, yoga participants showed fewer depression symptoms over the entire follow-up period. Benefits of yoga may accumulate over time.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017 

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