Feasibility of a Manualized Mindful Yoga Intervention for Patients With Chronic Mood Disorders.

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Chronic mood disorders pose an important mental health problem. Individuals with these disorders experience a significant impairment, often fail to seek help, and their illnesses frequently do not respond to treatment. It is therefore important to develop innovative and attractive treatments for these disorders. Mindful yoga represents a promising treatment approach. This pilot study tested the feasibility of a 9-week manualized mindful yoga intervention for patients with chronic mood disorders. Eleven patients receiving standard treatment were recruited to complete a 9-week mindful yoga intervention. Qualitative methods were used to assess patients’ experiences of the intervention and quantitative methods were used to assess psychological distress and mechanisms that play a role in chronic mood disorders. Eight patients completed the intervention and rated the overall quality of the intervention with a mean score of 8.8 (range of 8 to 9, using a scale of 1 to 10). All participants reported a reduction in psychological distress and no adverse events. Among the mechanisms that play a role in chronic mood disorders, the most potentially promising effects from the intervention were found for worry, fear of depression and anxiety, rumination, and areas related to body awareness, such as trusting bodily experiences and not distracting from sensations of discomfort. A 9-week mindful yoga intervention appears to be a feasible and attractive treatment when added to treatment as usual for a group of patients with chronic mood disorders. A randomized controlled trial to study the effects of mindful yoga is recommended.

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Authors: Nina K Vollbehr, H J Rogier Hoenders, Agna A Bartels-Velthuis, Brian D Ostafin