Moderators of treatment efficacy in a randomized controlled trial of trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunctive treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder

Psychol Trauma. 2020 Nov;12(8):836-846. doi: 10.1037/tra0000963. Epub 2020 Aug 27.


Objective: This study is a follow-up to van der Kolk et al. (2014), a trial conducted through the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute, which demonstrated treatment efficacy and remains the only randomized controlled trial of trauma-sensitive yoga. The present process study extends the outcomes study by examining treatment moderators of the original trial.

Method: Sixty-four women with childhood interpersonal trauma histories and posttraumatic stress disorder participated in the interventions: Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) versus active control (women's health education). Analyses explored if adult-onset interpersonal trauma and baseline psychological measures (clinician-rated and self-reported PTSD, dissociation, depression, psychological functioning) moderated PTSD changes.

Results: Three of six measures had small effects in moderating the relationship between adult-onset interpersonal trauma and TCTSY efficacy, in which TCTSY was most efficacious for those with fewer adult-onset interpersonal traumas. Within this subgroup, various levels of all baseline measures except depression indicated that TCTSY was more effective in reducing PTSD than the active control condition.

Conclusions: By delineating client characteristics most associated with PTSD improvements, practitioners may best target yoga interventions to increase effectiveness. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Trial registration: NCT00839813.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Yoga / psychology*

Associated data