The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

I. A study showing mind-body skills groups reduced symptoms of PTSD in Palestinian adults

Gordon JS, Staples JK, Abdel Attai JA. Mind-body skills groups for posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms in Palestinian adults in Gaza. 2010 (manuscript in preparation)

A study in Gaza shows that mind-body skills groups reduced symptoms of PTSD and depression in Palestinian adults. Participants also reported overall improvements in quality of life. Improvement was maintained at 10 month follow-up for PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms, and some of the quality of life subscales.

Read more
Data was gathered from 499 adults in Gaza who participated in mind-body skills groups in 2007-2008. Prior to participation in the program 17% of the adults had symptoms which qualified them as having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) according to the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. Among those adults, the PTSD symptom levels dropped 80% following participation in the groups (from 100% to 20%). 

Nearly everyone having qualifying PTSD symptom levels also had depression and anxiety prior to participating in the mind-body skills groups, as measured by the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25. Depression and anxiety symptoms significantly improved following participation in the program, with levels of depression dropping from 99% to 74% and anxiety levels dropping 94% to 67%. 

All participants in the mind-body skills groups reported significantly improved quality of life according to the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale. This included overall quality of life and overall health as well as improvements in specific areas of physical, psychological, and environmental quality of life and social relationships. At 10 month follow-up, improvement was maintained for PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms, and some of the quality of life subscales.

II.  The Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded the Center a grant to study the effects of mind-body skills groups on veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq 

The Defense Center of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health (PH) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) (Department of Defense) has awarded the Center a research grant to study the effects of mind-body skills groups on veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The study will be performed at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Healthcare System in collaboration with investigators there. We will be measuring the effect of mind-body skills groups on PTSD, anger, quality of sleep, depression, anxiety, health-related quality of life, and posttraumatic growth (positive psychological changes that can occur as a result of trauma exposure).

III. Research on our new program in Haiti is just beginning

We are currently doing a study to determine whether participation a in mind-body skills training program for Haitian clinicians, educators, clerics and other community leaders will result in improvement in posttraumatic stress symptoms, mood, professional quality of life; spiritual well-being; and posttraumatic growth.

IV.  A survey of graduates using mind-body medicine in medical schools

We are in the process of interviewing graduates of the Center’s Mind-Body Medicine professional trainings who are integrating mind-body skills groups and techniques into U.S. medical schools.

Additional published research, research in progress and program evaluations can be accessed in the menu at the right.

Questions about our research? Contact

@MindBodyMed Tweets
Get to know us! Join our list for newsletters & announcements.