RandomisedTrial

PHOTO: AnxietyStudy.jpg

A Randomised Comparative Trial Of Yoga And Relaxation To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

The aim of this study was to compare Yoga and relaxation as treatment modalities at 10 and 16 weeks from study baseline to determine if either of modality reduces subject stress, anxiety, blood pressure and improve quality of life. Following the 10 week intervention stress, anxiety and quality of life scores improved over time.

Yoga was found to be as effective as relaxation in reducing stress, anxiety and improving health status on seven domains of the SF-36. Yoga was more effective than relaxation in improving mental health

Objective
To compare Yoga and relaxation as treatment modalities at 10 and 16 weeks from study baseline to determine if either of modality reduces subject stress, anxiety, blood pressure and improve quality of life.

Design
A randomised comparative trial was undertaken comparing Yoga with relaxation.

Participants
One hundred and thirty-one subjects with mild to moderate levels of stress were recruited from the community in South Australia.

Interventions
Ten weekly 1-hour sessions of relaxation or Hatha Yoga.

Main outcome measures
Changes in the State Trait Personality Inventory sub-scale anxiety, General Health Questionnaire and the Short Form-36.

Results
Following the 10 week intervention stress, anxiety and quality of life scores improved over time. Yoga was found to be as effective as relaxation in reducing stress, anxiety and improving health status on seven domains of the SF-36. Yoga was more effective than relaxation in improving mental health. At the end of the 6 week follow-up period there were no differences between groups in levels of stress, anxiety and on five domains of the SF-36. Vitality, social function and mental health scores on the SF-36 were higher in the relaxation group during the follow-up period.

Conclusion
Yoga appears to provide a comparable improvement in stress, anxiety and health status compared to relaxation.

This study was funded by The University of South Australia.
Correspondence to: Centre for Allied Health Evidence, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia. Tel. +61 8 8302 2082; fax: +61 8 8302 2766.

Heather Hancock, Jane Blake-Mortimer and Kerena Eckert
University of South Australia, Australia
University of Adelaide, Australia

Available online 21 June 2006.  http://tinyurl.com/kuq9rt

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