Objective: The aim of this study was to examine whether bioenergetic exercises (BE) significantly influence the inpatient psychotherapeutic treatment results for Turkish immigrants with chronic somatoform disorders.
Method: In a 6-week randomized, prospective, controlled trial, we treated a sample of 128 Turkish patients: 64 were randomly assigned to BE and 64 participated in gymnastic exercises in lieu of BE. The Symptom Checklist (SCL-90-R) and State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI) were employed.
Results: According to the intent-to-treat principle, the bioenergetic analysis group achieved significantly better treatment results on most of the SCL-90-R and STAXI scales.
Conclusions: BE appears to improve symptoms of somatization, social insecurity, depressiveness, anxiety, and hostility in the inpatient therapy of subjects with chronic somatoform disorders. Reduction of the anger level and reduction in directing anger inwards, with a simultaneous increase of spontaneous outward emotional expression, could be expected.