Randomized controlled trials of mind-body interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder: a systematic review

Author: Josh Kaplan1, Vanessa C Somohano2, Belle Zaccari2,3, Maya E O'Neil2,3,4
1 Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States.
2 Veterans Affairs Portland Health Care System, Portland, OR, United States.
3 Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States.
4 Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States.
Conference/Journal: Front Psychol
Date published: 2024 Jan 24
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Pages: 1219296 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1219296. , Word Count: 257

Mind-body interventions (MBIs) include mindfulness-based interventions (MiBIs), meditation- and mantra-based interventions (MMIs), and movement-based interventions (MoBIs). These approaches have demonstrated preliminary efficacy in improving posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. However, previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses have noted that this area of research is limited by inadequate comparator conditions, heterogeneity of measurement, and absence of objective outcome measures. For these reasons, an updated review of the highest-quality evidence available is warranted. We used the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded evidence tables for the PTSD-Repository to identify relevant studies and assess the risk of bias as follows: The search was conducted between June 2018 and June 2022, and databases included PTSDpubs (formerly PILOTS), Ovid® MEDLINE®, Cochrane CENTRAL, Embase®, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL®), SCOPUS, and PsycINFO®. Twenty-six randomized controlled trials met our inclusion criteria. After identifying studies and retrieving risk of bias information from the PTSD-Repository evidence tables, we extracted additional data and synthesized the evidence. The strength of evidence was rated as low for MiBIs and MMIs, largely due to contradicting results, inconsistent use of active versus passive comparators, and high risk of bias. The strength of evidence for MoBIs was rated as moderate due to individual studies consistently favoring the intervention and a relatively large number of studies and participants. Of the 26 included studies, only two included objective outcome measures. Implications for future MBI research and clinical applications for treating PTSD are discussed.

Keywords: complementary integrative health; exercise; intervention; mindfulness; mind–body; movement; posttraumatic stress disorder.

PMID: 38327501 PMCID: PMC10847595 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1219296