Effects of yoga on eating disorders—A systematic review

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Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2019, 46 pp. 73 - 80
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Background: The question of whether yoga practice ameliorates or even aggravates eating disorders is currently under debate. The aim of this review was to systematically assess and the effectiveness and safety of yoga in patients with eating disorders. Methods: Medline/PubMed, PsycINFO, and the Psychological and Behavioral Science Collection were screened through July 2018 for randomized controlled trials, non-randomized controlled trials and longitudinal observational studies on yoga for patients with eating disorders and other individuals with disordered eating and/or body dissatisfaction. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. Results: Eight randomized trials and four uncontrolled trials involving a total of 495 participants were included. Risk of bias was mixed. Comparing yoga to untreated control groups, effect sizes ranged from negligible effects of d = 0.02 to very large effects of d = 2.15. However, most effects were small to moderately sized and in most cases not significant. No safety-related data were reported. Conclusions: There is limited evidence on the effectiveness and safety of yoga in patients with eating disorders. Yoga can be preliminarily considered as an additional treatment option in multimodal psychiatric treatment programs.
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