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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:513149. doi: 10.1155/2013/513149. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

A yoga and compassion meditation program reduces stress in familial caregivers of Alzheimer's disease patients.

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1
Department of Psychobiology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo-UNIFESP, 925, Rua Napoleão de Barros, 04024-002 São Paulo, SP, Brazil ; Departiment of Research, Instituto Appana Mind de Desenvolvimento Humano, 05436-020 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Abstract

Familial caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease exhibit reduced quality of life and increased stress levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week yoga and compassion meditation program on the perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol levels in familial caregivers. A total of 46 volunteers were randomly assigned to participate in a stress-reduction program for a 2-month period (yoga and compassion meditation program-YCMP group) (n = 25) or an untreated group for the same period of time (control group) (n = 21). The levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and morning salivary cortisol of the participants were measured before and after intervention. The groups were initially homogeneous; however, after intervention, the groups diverged significantly. The YCMP group exhibited a reduction of the stress (P < 0.05), anxiety (P < 0.000001), and depression (P < 0.00001) levels, as well as a reduction in the concentration of salivary cortisol (P < 0.05). Our study suggests that an 8-week yoga and compassion meditation program may offer an effective intervention for reducing perceived stress, anxiety, depression, and salivary cortisol in familial caregivers.

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