alexa Yoga and Social Support Reduce Prenatal Depression, Anxiety and Cortisol
ISSN: 2157-7595

Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
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Research Article

Yoga and Social Support Reduce Prenatal Depression, Anxiety and Cortisol

Tiffany Field 1,2*, Miguel Diego1, Jeannette Delgado1and Lissette Medina1

1Director of the Touch Research Institute, University of Miami Medical School, Florida

2School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Tiffany Field, Ph.D
Touch Research Institute
University of Miami School of Medicine
PO Box 016820, Miami, USA, 33101
Tel: (305) 243-6781
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: August 21, 2012; Accepted Date: September 28, 2012; Published Date: September 30, 2012

Citation: Field T, Diego M, Delgado J, Medina L (2012) Yoga and Social Support Reduce Prenatal Depression, Anxiety and Cortisol. J Yoga Phys Ther 2:124. doi:10.4172/2157-7595.1000124

Copyright: © 2012 Field T, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.




Ninety-two prenatally depressed women were randomly assigned to yoga or a social support control group at 22 weeks gestation. The yoga group participated in a 20-minute group session (only physical poses) once per week for 12 weeks. The social support group (a leaderless discussion group) met on the same schedule. At the end of the first and last sessions, the yoga group as compared to the social support group reported less depression, anxiety, anger, back and leg pain, unlike the support group who did not show immediate effects. At the end of the treatment period, the yoga group and the support group did not differ and they both had lower summary depression (CES-D) scores, as well as lower negative effect and somatic/vegetative symptoms subscale scores on the CES-D and lower scores on the other depression measures (EPDS and POMS), lower anxiety (STAI) scores, lower anger (STAXI) scores and improved relationship quality scores. In addition, cortisol levels decreased for both groups after the sessions and at the end of the treatment period. Estriol and progesterone levels increased across the treatment period and decreased after the last session for both groups. Depression and anxiety levels also decreased for both groups at the postpartum period. Thus, this study suggests that yoga as compared to social support sessions may have greater immediate effects on depression, anger, back and leg pain, but that both yoga and social support had positive effects on depressed pregnant women over the longer term.

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