Reduce Symptoms of Depression & Anxiety with Yoga

Spreading the word

Our very own Director, Michael de Manincor PhD, is travelling to Adelaide to present the results of his research – Yoga for Mental Health – at The National Psychiatry Congress.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), 2017 Congress 

Speaking our Minds. Telling our Stories” 

Symposium:   Yoga Therapy in Psychiatric Treatment – Different Approaches 

Research presentation:  Michael de Manincor

Individualised yoga for reducing depression and anxiety, and improving well-being: a randomised controlled trial

Background:  Depression and anxiety are leading causes of disability worldwide, causing burden to individuals, families, communities, organisations and economies. Current treatments are primarily pharmaceutical and psychological. However, questions remain about the effectiveness and suitability of these treatments for different people. Previous research suggests potential benefits of yoga for reducing depression and anxiety, and improving mental health and well-being. This study investigated the effects of an individualised yoga intervention.

Methods: A sample of 101 people with symptoms of depression and/or anxiety participated in a randomised controlled trial comparing a 6-week individualised yoga intervention in addition to usual treatment, with a treatment-as-usual waitlist control. Measures included the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21), Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), Short-Form Health Survey (SF12), Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE), Flourishing Scale (FS), and Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC2).

Results: Participants who did the yoga showed significant reductions in depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and frequency of negative experience, and improvements in measures of overall mental health, resilience, frequency of positive experience, and flourishing. Comparisons with the control group were statistically significant on each measure. Benefits of the yoga were maintained at 6-week follow-up.

Conclusion: Yoga plus regular care was more effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety and other improvements in mental health, compared with regular care alone. Individualised yoga may be particularly beneficial in mental health care in the broader community.

Research publication: Depression and Anxiety, 33, 816–828, 2016.

This research forms part of a PhD on “Yoga for Mental Health”