We thank Dr. Stannat and Dr. Wolter for their additional comments on our systematic review on the efficacy of yoga in mental disorders (1). We agree with Dr. Stannat that our conclusion that patients with more severe symptoms benefit less from yoga is restricted to yoga in group settings.
In all studies included in our review, the yoga interventions were conducted in groups. We were not able to identify any studies with an individual yoga intervention. Thus, the question of whether individual yoga for patients with more severe symptoms is equally or even more effective than for patients with less severe symptoms has to remain unanswered at the moment. Furthermore, it would be interesting to study the efficacy of individual and group yoga within a direct comparison study. Those comparisons of different therapeutic approaches have been studied in psychotherapy research for some time, but the results so far have been heterogeneous (2, 3). In addition to numerous physical disorders, yoga has also been shown to be effective for chronic non-tumor pain and addiction disorders, as Dr. Wolter commented. Studies on alcohol and other substance dependences have also been included in our meta-analysis. However, we excluded some promising primary studies on the efficacy of yogic breathing techniques in nicotine dependence because the authors investigated only this isolated yoga component.
The authors of both letters call for the wider acceptance and the increased therapeutic use of yoga in practice. We can only agree with these statements. In addition, it seems worth studying the efficacy of yoga as a possible measure for relapse prevention.
PD Dr. phil. Jenny Rosendahl
Rahel Klatte, M.Sc.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors of all contributions declare that no conflict of interest exists.
|1.||Klatte R, Pabst S, Beelmann A, Rosendahl J: The efficacy of body-oriented yoga in mental disorders—a systematic review and meta-analysis. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2016; 113: 195–202 VOLLTEXT|
|2.||McRoberts C, Burlingame GM, Hoag MJ: Comparative efficacy of individual and group psychotherapy: a meta-analytic perspective. Group Dyn 1998; 2: 101–17 CrossRef|
|3.||Cuijpers P, van Straten A, Warmerdam L: Are individual and group treatments equally effective in the treatment of depression in adults? A meta-analysis. Eur J Psychiatry 2008; 22: 38–51 CrossRef|