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Yoga And Mindfulness As Potential Treatment Adjuncts For Schizophrenia


1. Mind-body therapies are superior to routine care and rehabilitation at reducing schizophrenia symptom severity.

2. Yoga and mindfulness showed the strongest effect among other mind-body therapies in reducing schizophrenia symptoms.

Evidence Rating Level: 1 (Excellent)

Mind-body therapies (MBT) like yoga and tai chi show promise as complementary approaches to the treatment of some diseases. In the case of schizophrenia, there is growing evidence for the potential of yoga and mindfulness to reduce symptom severity. However, a comparison of the effectiveness of different MBTs in the treatment of schizophrenia has not yet been investigated.

This systematic review looked at randomized control trials (RCT) published up until November 2022 which investigated the effects of MBTs on reducing schizophrenia symptom severity. 22 RCTs that investigated the effects of different MBTs on schizophrenia and had at least one of the following outcome measures: schizophrenia symptom severity, quality of life, motor capacity, functional capacity, cognitive function, social and occupational function, and degree of depression were included. Non RCTs and incomplete studies were excluded. The effects of yoga, yijin jing, mindfulness, baduanjin, and tai chi were compared against routine schizophrenia care and rehabilitation. The primary outcome measured schizophrenia symptom severity using the positive and negative syndrome scale.

Compared to routine care MBTs were more effective at reducing positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms. Yoga and mindfulness were more effective than other MBTs. Yoga was the most effective at reducing negative symptoms and was the second best at reducing positive symptoms. Mindfulness was the most effective at reducing positive symptoms. A limitation of this study is that the practice of these MBTs in terms of duration, intensity, and frequency varied among the RCTs. Therefore, we cannot accurately comment on how precisely to employ this intervention as a complement to routine care. Nevertheless, the study ventures into a relatively new area of study and provides support for the potential use of yoga or mindfulness as an adjunct to the conventional treatment of schizophrenia in the future.

Click here to read this study Schizophrenia Research

Image: PD

©2024 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. All rights reserved. No works may be reproduced without expressed written consent from 2 Minute Medicine, Inc. Inquire about licensing here. No article should be construed as medical advice and is not intended as such by the authors or by 2 Minute Medicine, Inc.



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