HealthDay News — A non-trauma-focused therapy, transcendental meditation (TM), can decrease the severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among veterans, according to a study published online November 15 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

Sanford Nidich, EdD, from the Maharishi University of Management Research Institute in Fairfield, Iowa, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial including 203 veterans with a current diagnosis of PTSD resulting from active military service. Participants were randomly assigned to a TM group (68 participants), prolonged exposure therapy (PE) group (68 participants), or an active control group of PTSD health education (HE; 67 participants). Each treatment was provided in 12 sessions over 12 weeks. TM and HE were provided mainly in a group setting, while PE was given individually. 

Related Articles

The researchers found that on the change in Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) score from baseline to three-month posttest, TM was significantly noninferior to PE (difference between groups in mean change, −5.9; 95% confidence interval, −14.3 to 2.4; P=.0002). Significant reductions in the CAPS score were found for TM versus HE (−14.6; 95% confidence interval, −23.3 to −5.9; P=.0009) and PE versus HE (−8.7; 95% confidence interval, −17.0 to −0.32; P=.041) in standard superiority comparisons. Clinically significant improvements on the CAPS score were seen for 61, 42, and 32% of those receiving TM, PE, and HE, respectively.

“Our findings provide further evidence that PTSD treatments can be effective without an exposure component,” Nidich said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)