One of the most common and debilitating health conditions in the United States and worldwide is major depression. Preliminary evidence indicates that Hatha Yoga may be an effective intervention for the management and treatment of depressive symptoms. Although compelling, these results are preliminary given the many substantial methodological limitations. Additional research is needed that addresses these limitations. The current study was a prospective, randomized, controlled intervention pilot study examining the efficacy of a 12-week mindfulness-based yoga intervention relative to a walking health education comparison condition among sedentary women (n=40) with elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms and other wellness outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and one-month follow-up. Both groups reported decreases in depressive symptoms from baseline to post-intervention, f (1,33)=34.83, p<.001, and from baseline to one-month follow-up, f (1,33)=37.01, p<.001. After controlling for baseline, there were no significant between group differences on depression scores at post-intervention and one-month follow-up assessments. The mindfulness-based yoga condition reported significantly lower levels of rumination than the walking health education comparison condition, after controlling for baseline levels of rumination, at post-intervention, (f (1,31)=6.23, p<0.01). Similar improvements for both groups from baseline to post-intervention were observed for increased moderate intensity physical activity, perceived stress, mindfulness, quality of life, and sleep disturbance; however, there were no differences between groups. Results indicate that yoga may be effective for reducing rumination; however, its effect on depressive symptoms is less clear. Future studies, with larger samples are needed to address the effect of yoga on depression.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2014. Major: Kinesiology. Advisor: Beth A. Lewis, PhD. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 157 pages, appendices A-M
Schuver, Katie Jo.
Mindfulness-based Yoga intervention for women with elevated levels of depressive symptoms.
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