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Exploring the impact of trauma-adapted yoga in forensic psychiatry.

Psychiatry Research 2024 March 29
The specialized field of forensic psychiatry deals with the care of criminal offenders who suffer from severe mental disorders. As this field is positioned at the intersection of illness, crime, and security, it poses complex challenges. While high-quality clinical studies in forensic psychiatry settings are limited, recent investigations have suggested yoga as a complementary clinical tool within correctional environments. This report of a quasi-experimental study examines the impact of a 10-week trauma-adapted yoga intervention on mental health, antisocial and aggressive behaviors, pain perception, cravings, and character maturity among 56 patients in various forensic psychiatry clinics across Sweden. In the current study, the yoga group demonstrated noteworthy reductions in negative affect states, anxiety, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideations, interpersonal sensitivity, hostility, and overall psychological distress. These reductions were not observed in the comparison group. Additionally, the yoga group exhibited a significant decrease in pain frequency and strengthened self-directedness. However, there were no significant changes in aggressive, antisocial, or self-harm behaviors or cravings in either group. The between-group analyses did not yield significant results, except for pain intensity. The trauma-adapted yoga intervention implemented within forensic psychiatry settings shows feasibility and results in multiple positive changes in patients' health.

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