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

Viann N. Nguyen-Feng, Hilary Hodgdon, David Emerson, Rowan Silverberg, Cari J Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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) Clinical Impact Statement—There is growing evidence for the effectiveness of adjunctive trauma-sensitive yoga, specifically the protocolized Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga, to decrease PTSD symptoms. The present study provides evidence on how clinicians may best target this complementary intervention to individuals who would most benefit from it. In particular, exposure to cumulative interpersonal trauma should be considered when determining whether a client may be appropriately referred to trauma-sensitive yoga. Although TCTSY does not appear to be contraindicated, as suggested by the absence of symptom exacerbation in subgroups, clinicians would need to consider other trauma treatment approaches in addition to TCTSY when referring individuals with high levels of cumulative interpersonal trauma histories. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-846
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Psychological Association


  • moderation
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • trauma-sensitive yoga
  • yoga
  • yoga intervention

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Moderators of treatment efficacy in a randomized controlled trial of trauma-sensitive yoga as an adjunctive treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this