Effects of a yoga breath intervention alone and in combination with an exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in survivors of the 2004 South-East Asia tsunami

Authors


Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, 86 Sherry Lane, Kingston, NY 12401 USA.
E-mail: pgerbarg@aol.com

Abstract

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.

Ancillary