Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not “Is Yoga An Effective Treatment For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?”

Study Design: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in peer reviewed journals between 2010-2014, all English language.

Data Sources: Three randomized controlled trials were found using PubMed.

Outcomes Measured: All three studies measured improvement in PTSD symptoms through yoga therapy using self-reported patient questionnaires, visual analog scales, and vital signs.

Results: Studies by Telles et al. and van der Kolk et al. found that yoga therapy significantly improved symptoms in patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, a study by Mitchell et al. demonstrated that participants who engaged in yoga had a significant decrease in their PTSD symptoms, but participants in the control group also had a decrease in their PTSD symptoms.

Conclusions: Based on the results of these three RCTs, it seems that there is a benefit of using yoga therapy to treat patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, at least on a short-term basis. Due to lack of sufficient post-intervention long-term follow up, it is unable to be determined if yoga has lasting effects as a treatment for PTSD. Therefore, the use of this treatment modality warrants further investigation.