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Effects of yoga on mental health in chronic physical conditions: A meta-analysis

Klein Woolthuis, Rémon (2014) Effects of yoga on mental health in chronic physical conditions: A meta-analysis.

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Abstract:Introduction In the last years, a new view on mental healthcare has been formed on mental healthcare, called positive psychology. This new view states, that mental health is not solely comprised of a reduction of negative symptoms, such as stress or depression, but positive experiences as well, such as emotional well-being, happiness and self-realization. Yoga, among other activities, is in line with this new view, in the sense that it practices key aspects of positive psychology. More and more research has been conducted on the effects of yoga on mental health in the last years, but little have physical, chronic conditions been the focus of this research. In the form of a master thesis, a meta-analysis is conducted to study the effects of yoga on mental health in physical, chronic conditions. Methods 30 studies have been selected out of an existing systematic search (carried out by Kruese and ten Damme (2013) at the University of Twente, Enschede) in both Scopus and Cochrane, focusing on physical, chronic conditions. This meta-analysis analyses the effect of yoga on mental health in physical, chronic conditions. Three moderators were included in the analysis, which were (1) the type of condition, (2) type of control group and (3) type of outcome. Two mediators were also included, namely (1) the score of the quality assessment of the pool of studies. Results 30 studies were included and 26 remained after removal of outliers. A medium effect size (Hedges g) with a value of 0.572 was found, which is significant. This effect size shows a general effect of yoga on mental health over all the conditions and outcomes. These results are an indication that yoga might have a substantial effect on mental health in physical, chronic conditions. Moderator analyses showed that the type of condition was significant, which means there are significant differences between what effect yoga has on which physical, chronic conditions. In the subgroup of cancer studies, the effects of yoga were significant and positive. Mediator analyses showed that generally the more yoga was practiced in the study, the higher the effect size. Conclusion This meta-analysis shows that yoga can be effective in reducing negative symptoms, such as depression, fear and stress and can promote an individual’s well-being. In other words, not only are negative symptoms reduced, yoga also can also have a positive effect on the positive functioning of a person. This meta-analysis shows that yoga can be effective for cancer patients and might be for other physical, chronic conditions as well. Yoga may well be a good addition for the list of positive interventions for the promotion of mental health, seen its promising effects.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/64903
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