Maharishi University of Management is recruiting participants for a research project comparing the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation practice, exposure therapy and education in alleviating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans of war.
There will be 210 veterans with PTSD enrolled in the study, both men and women. The participants will be measured in a time frame of 3 months on their
- behavioural markers (use of alcohol, drugs and smoking);
- biomarkers (blood pressure, catecholamine and cortisol levels, body mass);
- treatment adherence (daily home practice logs, meetings attended, random phone calls by staff to determine recent practice of participants’ respective programs).
The trial outcome will include scores on the Clinically Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and scores on post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms including depression, anger, mood disturbance and quality of life.
Study participants in the Transcendental Meditation group will be offered the standard 7 step course, including an introductory and preparatory lectures, personal one-on-one instruction with a certified TM teacher followed by 3 consecutive days of classes on how to meditate correctly and effortlessly, how to understand mechanisms of stress release and sequential development to higher levels of human consciousness and enjoying ones full potential. Followup meetings will provide checking of meditation practice, sharing of group experiences and knowledge to motivate and inspire continued regularity with the practice. The certified Transcendental Meditation instructor will have experience with PTSD in this veteran population.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a common and debilitating anxiety condition that affects up to 20% of war veterans. PTSD is often a chronic problem, affecting reintegration into society, family and marital relationships, sleep, employment stability, substance abuse rates, and risk for depression and suicide, among other areas. Although several effective therapies exist to treat PTSD, research shows that up to half of patients completing these treatments continue to have elevated symptoms indicating the important need for developing additional treatment options.
If successful, these research findings will serve to provide key data on the feasibility and efficacy of the Transcendental Meditation program as an alternative therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. The results will serve to inform policy decisions on the study and application of standardized and validated stress reduction programs in veteran populations.
The study is led by Maharishi University of Management, in collaboration with San Diego Veterans Healthcare System and University of California, San Diego. Its estimated completion date is October 2016.
For more information, including criteria for participation eligibility, see ClinicalTrials.gov
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