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11 Sep

This study may be an indirect chide to the research community for continuing to lean toward studies on the effectiveness of exposure therapy and CBT for PTS when EMDR (eye movement desensitization & reprocessing) may perform even better.
In a review and meta-analysis out of Sao Paolo, Brazil, investigators compared cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to cognitive therapy (CT) and exposure therapy (ET) for the treatment of posttraumatic stress (PTSD).

Studies were gathered from the Cochrane, Embase and Medline databases. Studies were required to be randomized controlled trials (RCT’s), published between 2006 and 2012, comparing CBT, CT, or ET with (1) each other, (2) other active treatments (e.g., EMDR, counseling, supportive therapy), or (3) assessment-only or wait list conditions. The main outcome measures were diagnostic changes and symptomatic remission.

The final sample contained 29 articles.  CBT, CT, and ET were each shown to be efficacious treatments when compared to wait list/no treatment conditions, and no differences were found between these methods.

04 Sep

Researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago surveyed the research literature to see if mindfulness meditation was a useful, effective primary intervention for binge eating, emotional eating and weight loss.

There had been no systematic review that examined interventions mindfulness meditation as the primary intervention, and no review on the effect of mindfulness on subclinical disordered eating or weight problems.
The investigators used the PRISMA method for systematic reviews, finding 14 studies to include that investigated mindfulness meditation as the primary intervention and assessed binge eating, emotional eating, and/or weight change.
Results suggest that mindfulness meditation effectively decreases binge eating and emotional eating in populations engaging in this behavior.  However, evidence for its effect on weight change is mixed.

28 Aug

In this randomized clinical trial, researchers from the National Center for PTSD at the Veterans Affairs Pacific Islands Healthcare System in Honolulu, HI, examined outcomes from cognitive processing therapy delivered via video teleconferencing (VTC) as compared to in-person delivery, in a rural, ethnically diverse sample of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Participants received 12 sessions of CPT-C via VTC (n = 61) or in-person (n = 64). Assessments were administered at baseline, mid-treatment, immediately post-treatment, and at 3 and 6 months post-treatment. The primary clinical outcome was post-treatment PTSD severity, as measured by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale or CAPS.

21 Aug

Researchers from the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness and the Student Health Center at the University of Missouri, investigated whether iRest Yoga Nidra (, a form of therapeutic guided meditation, was effective in reducing perceived stress, worry and depression in college students.
Sixty-six students age 18-56 completed an 8-week iRest yoga-nidra intervention that was offered for 8 semesters. Assessment occurred 1 week prior to intervention onset and during the class period following the intervention. Qualitative data were collected at Weeks 4 and 8.

Statistically significant pre- to posttest improvements in perceived stress, worry, and depression were found. Pre-existing depression accounted for most of the change in worry and perceived stress scores. Pre- to post test improvements in mindfulness-based skills were also detected.

The investigators conclude that iRest yoga-nidra practice may reduce symptoms of perceived stress, worry, and depression and increase mindfulness-based skills.

Citation:  Eastman-Mueller H1, Wilson T, Jung AK, Kimura A, Tarrant J. iRest yoga-nidra on the college campus: changes in stress, depression, worry, and mindfulness. International Journal of Yoga Therapy. 2013; (23): pp.15-24.


11 Aug

Researchers from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, performed a systematic review of studies that explored the efficacy of yoga, a popular adjunct therapy, for preventing and treating eating disorders (ED’s).

Databases were searched for peer-reviewed articles about yoga practice and ED symptoms and correlates.

Of the 14 articles reviewed, 40% used cross-sectional designs to examine risk and protective factors for EDs among yoga practitioners, and 60% used longitudinal designs to assess the effectiveness of yoga interventions for preventing and treating EDs.

07 Aug

Researchers from the San Diego Veterans Administration Healthcare System explored the effectiveness of a Mantram Repetition Program (MRP), used with 65 outpatient veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress, to see if it helped them better manage their symptoms….
The MRP consisted of six weekly group sessions (90 min per week) on how to (1) choose and use a mantram, (2) slow down thoughts and behaviors, and (3) develop one-pointed attention for emotional self-regulation.
Critical incident research technique interviews were conducted at 3 months post-intervention as part of a larger randomized clinical trial.
The setting was an academic-affiliated Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in southern California. Categorization and comparison of the types and frequency of incidents (i.e., triggering events) were collected.

31 Jul

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, along with investigators from the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging at Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, and faculty from Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, explored the question of what might counteract cognitive decline in a rapidly aging society, and whether meditation might be able to enhance cognitive function in older adults. (Meditation has already been shown to have positive effects on cognition in younger and middle-aged adults.)

The team reviewed studies investigating the effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline, searching the Web of Science (1900 to present), PsycINFO (1597 to present), MEDLINE (1950 to present), and CABI (1910 to present) to identify original studies investigating the effects of meditation on cognition and cognitive decline in the context of aging.

21 Jul

In this randomized clinical trial, 3 cognitive behavioral coping techniques were compared for their efficacy for relieving fibromyalgia pain and anxiety symptoms: (1) an informational patient education program, (2) a general, pleasant guided imagery program and (3) an emotional support program to let the patients talk freely and emotionally about their fibromyalgia problems.

The study tested the post intervention effects of these 3 interventions 30 minutes afterward. A total of 58 fibromyalgia patients participated,  with 22 in the patient education group, 17 in the guided imagery group, and 19 in the emotional support talking group.

17 Jul

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Engineering and North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts studied whether patients leaving residential alcoholism treatment with a smartphone app to support their recovery had fewer risky drinking days than controls.
A randomized clinical trial involving 3 residential treatment programs in the Midwest and northeastern US included 349 patients who met the criteria for DSM-IV alcohol dependence when they entered residential treatment.
They were randomized to treatment as usual (n = 179) or treatment as usual plus a smartphone (n = 170) with the Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS), an application designed at the University of Wisconsin to improve continuing care for alcohol use disorders.

10 Jul

This study used a 4-part guided imagery recording designed specifically for pregnancy-related stress.  It was created and narrated by the researcher. Some ideas from Staying Well with Guided Imagery were used in the development of the imagery.

Interestingly, the positive effects in this study were greatest at 8 weeks, and got no better after that, even though the study went to 12 weeks. This was similar to what Jennifer Strauss found in her 12-week study of sexually traumatized veterans who used guided imagery at the Durham V.A. – maximum benefit was achieved at 8 weeks. Dr Strauss wound up deciding that 12 weeks was overkill, and a subsequent study was designed to shorten the imagery intervention to 8 weeks.