Vancampfort D, Vansteelandt K, Scheewe T, Probst M, Knapen J, De Herdt A, De Hert M. Yoga in schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials.
Objective: The objective of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary treatment on general psychopathology, positive and negative symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQL) for people with schizophrenia.
Method: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were considered whether they investigated a yoga intervention in patients with schizophrenia. The selection of studies, data extraction and quality assessment were performed independently by two reviewers.
Results: Only three RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Lower Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) total scores and subscale scores for positive and negative symptoms were obtained after yoga compared with exercise or waiting list control conditions. In the same way, the physical, psychological, social and environmental HRQL as measured with the abbreviated version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) increased more significantly after yoga than after exercise or waiting list control conditions. None of the RCTS encountered adverse events. Dose–response relationships could, however, not be determined.
Conclusion: Although the number of RCTs included in this review was limited, results indicated that yoga therapy can be an useful add-on treatment to reduce general psychopathology and positive and negative symptoms. In the same way, HRQL improved in those antipsychotic-stabilised patients with schizophrenia following yoga.