Mindful yoga intervention as add-on to treatment as usual for young women with major depressive disorder: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Nina Vollbehr*, Rogier Hoenders, Agna Bartels-Velthuis, Maaike Nauta, Stynke Castelein, Maya Schroevers, Dennis Stant, Casper Albers, Peter de Jong, Brian Ostafin

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: To examine the added value of a 9-week mindful yoga intervention (MYI) as add-on to treatment as usual (TAU) in reducing depression for young women (18–34 years) with major depressive disorder (MDD). Method: Randomized controlled trial (RCT; n = 171) comparing TAU + MYI with TAU-only. Assessments were at baseline, postintervention, and at 6- and 12-month follow-up. Primary outcome measures were clinician-rated and self-reported symptoms of depression, together with a diagnostic interview to establish MDD diagnosis that was restricted to the baseline and 12-month follow-up assessments. Quality of life in various domains was assessed as secondary outcome measure. As potential mediators for treatment efficacy, we included self-report measures of rumination, self-criticism, self-compassion, intolerance of
uncertainty, perceived body awareness and dispositional mindfulness, together with behavioral measures of attentional bias (AB) and depression-related self-associations. Results: Adding MYI to TAU did not lead to greater reduction of depression symptoms, lower rate of MDD diagnosis or increase in quality of life in various domains of functioning at post and follow-up assessments. There were no indirect effects through any of the potential mediators, with the exception of self-compassion. Conclusion: Adding MYI to TAU appeared not more efficacious than TAU-only in reducing depression symptoms in young women
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-941
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022


  • depression
  • women
  • yoga
  • mindfulness
  • mediators

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