A clinical trial conducted in adult patients with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) treated with either Kundalini yoga, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or stress education revealed that yoga can reduce anxiety, according to an article published in JAMA Psychiatry.
The analysis included 226 adults with GAD who were randomised to a 12-week group treatment programme with either Kundalini yoga (n=93), CBT (n=90), or stress education (n=43). The primary outcome was a treatment response rating of much improved or very much improved by an independent evaluator at post-treatment assessment. The secondary outcome was response at six-month follow-up.
Response rates at the post-treatment assessment were higher in the Kundalini yoga group (54.2%) and in the CBT group (70.8%) than in the stress education group (33.0%). However, the noninferiority test did not find Kundalini yoga to be as effective as CBT (difference, 16.6%; P=.42 for noninferiority).
At six-month follow-up, the Kundalini yoga response rate (63.2%) was not significantly higher than that of the stress education group (48.0%).
Although these findings support that CBT should remain first-line treatment, the authors say that yoga may still have a role to play in GAD management as a more easily accessible intervention.