248558 Yoga in an Urban School for Children with Emotional-Behavioral Disorders

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:30 AM

Tahnee Sidhu, BA , Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Naomi Steiner, MD , Center for Children with Special Needs, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Elizabeth Frenette, MPH , Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Ellen Perrin, MD , Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Objective: Yoga is becoming a complementary part of therapies for children with emotional behavioral disorders (EBD). We examined the feasibility and efficacy of yoga sessions for children with emotional behavioral disorders in an urban elementary school. Methods: 41 students in 4th and 5th grade with EBD participated in a yoga intervention during the school day in small groups. One hour sessions were held twice a week for 3 months. The yoga protocol consisted of comprehensive training in stress management and mind-body techniques. Classroom teachers completed assessment questionnaires pre-intervention and post-intervention. Assessment questionnaires included: the Behavior Assessment Scale for Children (BASC) and the Swanson, Kotkin, Agler, M-Flynn & Pelham Rating Scale (SKAMP). Yoga instructors completed Session Attendance, Engagement, and Behavioral Checklist for each session. Results: Teacher BASC data reported significant (p < 0.05) improvement on the Behavioral Symptoms Index, Internalizing Problems Composite, and Adaptive Skills Composite and a trend (p < 0.3) toward significant improvement on the School Problems and Externalizing Problems composites. SKAMP data showed significant (p < 0.05) improvement on the Total Score and Attention and Deportment subscores. Effect sizes for significant measures were small to moderate due to small sample size. The average attendance was around 90% as calculated from the Session Attendance, Engagement and Behavior Checklist. Conclusion: Yoga intervention in the school setting was feasible and participants were motivated to learn new skills. These data suggest that yoga administered in small groups in an urban school setting may be effective in reducing symptoms in children with EBD.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the four components of a child-based yoga session. 2. Describe the theory supporting the hypotheses of this yoga project. 3. Explain which scales were used to assess the efficacy of this project.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Children With Special Needs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an active researcher on the current project since 2008.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.