Журнал психологии и психотерапии

Журнал психологии и психотерапии
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ISSN: 2161-0487


Breathing Focused Mind-Body Approach for Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

Eriko Kobayashi-Suzuki, Yoshiyuki Tachibana, Makiko Okuyama and Takashi Igarashi

Background: Numerous forms of breathing techniques have been frequently incorporated in treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for children and adolescents. Whereas major treatment approach such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT) has incorporated breathing techniques as an auxiliary function to teach relaxation skills, mind-body approach has utilized different kinds of breathing techniques as primary components of intervention. Mind-body approach has been used as an alternative to TF-CBT for both adults and children, and found to be effective in varying degree for adult PTSD. Most of the systematic review on child PTSD has been conducted on TF-CBT and a systematic review on mind-body approach has been limited to adults PTSD. Hence we decided to conduct a systematic review of published articles on PTSD treatment using mind-body approach with breathing as a primary component for children and adolescents.

Methods: We searched PsychINFO, MEDLINE, Web of Science, and PubMed for eligible articles in addition to hand searching references of the related articles. Interventions that incorporate breathing techniques but do not identify such techniques as a primary component (e.g., TF-CBT) were excluded from the search.

Results: The review found only one Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), two open trials, and one randomized comparative trial. No quantitative analysis was conducted due to insufficient numbers of studies and statistical heterogeneity. Hence data was synthesized qualitatively.

Conclusions: There is a relative lack of research in breathing techniques and mind-body approach on child and adolescent PTSD. Preliminary data suggest that mind-body approach may be effective for high school students traumatized by war and political conflict, and may be as effective as exposure treatment for children and adolescents traumatized by war and tsunami. Age is a potential factor impacting the efficacy of the approach but is yet to be researched further. Future research is necessary for more controlled trials and large-scale comparison trials, but mind-body approach can be a promising alternative to TF-CBT.