A 12-week integrative exercise program improves self-reported mindfulness and interoceptive awareness in war veterans with posttraumatic stress symptoms.

Author: Mehling WE1,2, Chesney MA1,2, Metzler TJ1,2, Goldstein LA1,2, Maguen S1,2, Geronimo C2, Agcaoili G2, Barnes DE1,2, Hlavin JA2, Neylan TC1,2
Author Information:
1University of California, San Francisco, USA.
2San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Conference/Journal: J Clin Psychol.
Date published: 2017 Oct 27
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1002/jclp.22549. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 164


OBJECTIVE: Innovative approaches to the treatment of war-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are needed. We report on secondary psychological outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of integrative exercise (IE) using aerobic and resistance exercise with mindfulness-based principles and yoga. We expected-in parallel to observed improvements in PTSD intensity and quality of life-improvements in mindfulness, interoceptive bodily awareness, and positive states of mind.

METHOD: A total of 47 war veterans with PTSD were randomized to 12-week IE versus waitlist. Changes in mindfulness, interoceptive awareness, and states of mind were assessed by self-report standard measures.

RESULTS: Large effect sizes for the intervention were observed on Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire Non-Reactivity (d = .85), Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness Body Listening (d = .80), and Self-Regulation (d = 1.05).

CONCLUSION: In a randomized controlled trial of a 12-week IE program for war veterans with PTSD, we saw significant improvements in mindfulness, interoceptive bodily awareness, and positive states of mind compared to a waitlist.

© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

KEYWORDS: PTSD; exercise; interoception; mindfulness; veterans

PMID: 29076530 DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22549

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