Yoga Program for Young Adults with Symptoms of PTSD

An Online Trauma-informed Yoga Program for Young Adults With Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a chronic, debilitating condition, is a growing public health concern as the Canadian population has the highest PTSD prevalence worldwide (9.2%; 3.7 million people). PTSD is linked with other comorbid mental health disorders (e.g., depression) and increased risk of chronic disease (e.g., cardiovascular disease, obesity) which presents challenges as far as selection of the appropriate treatment approach. Adjunctive treatment approaches for PTSD that include somatic-sensory body awareness (e.g., mindfulness, yoga) have been shown to be viable treatment options to reduce stress-related symptoms and enhance emotion regulation. Online treatment delivery for mental health disorders demonstrate similar reductions in self-reported symptoms as face-to-face methods and emphasize accessibility, reduced costs, and enhanced appeal to certain demographic groups. A target population at risk of untreated PTSD symptoms that may benefit from an online treatment is young adults, 18-34 yrs., who have experienced childhood trauma. No known randomized controlled trial (RCT) has addressed the effectiveness of a brief (8-week) online trauma-informed yoga intervention using both self-report and objective measures. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the within- and between-group changes in self-reported PTSD symptoms and objectively measured biomarkers of autonomic regulation via pupil dilation and heart-rate-variability (HRV) following an 8-week prospective RCT design. It is hypothesized that clinically significant reductions of: 1) PTSD total symptom severity by 10% and 2) pupil dilation and; 3) increased HRV in the intervention group compared to non-significant findings in the wait-list controls. This is the first study to examine objective markers of autonomic regulation among an at-risk population using multiple novel technologies (e.g., Eye Tracking Glasses, HRV) and comparing two theoretically-linked measures (e.g., HRV, Pupillometry).

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Recruiting patients only

Behavioral - Yoga Intervention

Online video instruction of yoga postures combined with breath awareness and meditation form the foundation of the intervention. The trauma-informed component of the program uses specific language, movement cues, teacher qualities, and physical assists. The yoga intervention will emphasize full choice and control of the participant through invitational language such as, "when you are ready", "if you like" before each body posture cue. Based on trauma-informed yoga best practices, a predictable f more on

Evaluation of an Online Trauma-informed Yoga Program for Young Adults With Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial