The effects of yoga on mental health in school-aged children: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis of Randomised Control Trials

Author: Kirti Khunti1, Sadie Boniface2, Emma Norris3, Cesar M De Oliveira1, Nicola Shelton1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> 154305University College London (UCL), London, UK. <sup>2</sup> Kings College London, London, UK. <sup>3</sup> 3890Brunel University, London, UK.
Conference/Journal: Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry
Date published: 2022 Oct 27
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/13591045221136016. , Word Count: 206

It is becoming increasingly common for frontline clinicians to see children and teenagers struggle with their mental health. Since mental health issues have increased over the past ten years in the UK, they are now the leading cause of disability and cost the British economy £105 billion annually. The review discusses the evidence base underpinning the effect of yoga on children's mental health and summarises the results of 21 research papers. The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO, ERIC, Web of Science, PubMed, Medline and Cochrane Library were searched through Ovid from January 2008 until May 2022. The keywords 'yoga OR mindfulness - AND school AND children OR child OR youth OR adolescent' were used. The search was limited to studies in the English language. The quality of each study was rated against Version 2 of the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomised control trials and a set of inclusion and exclusion criteria. The evidence for yoga therapies in children is encouraging, although studies include methodological flaws such as small sample sizes and sparse information on interventions. This review has highlighted that yoga interventions may be implemented in schools as a preventative and therapeutic measure for mental health issues.

Keywords: Yoga; adolescents; children; mental health; mindfulness; school.

PMID: 36302735 DOI: 10.1177/13591045221136016