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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 53 (2011) 8, 531 - 541

Review article

Body-directed techniques on psychomotor therapy for people with schizophrenia: a review of the literature

D. Vancampfort, M. Probst, J. Knapen, H. Demunter, J. Peuskens, M. De Hert

background Patients with schizophrenia frequently undergo a disturbance of body experience. This can occur during an acute psychotic phase or during a period of remission.
aim To investigate the scientific evidence of the effects of introducing body-directed techniques
into psychomotor therapy for patients with schizophrenia.
method PubMed, pedro, cinahl, psycinfo and sportdiscus were searched form 1 January, 2000, tot 1 January 2011, for reports of randomised controlled trials, controlled clinical trials and for studies wit a different design. The Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie (the Dutch Journal of Psychiatry), the Tijdschrift voor Vaktherapie (The Journal for Special therapies) and Actuele Themata (Actual Themes) in psychomotor therapy were also screened. The quality of the methodology was assessed with the help of a checklist. Evidence for the efficacy of the interventions was summarised on the basis of a best-evidence synthesis.
result Eleven studies satisfied our inclusion and exclusion criteria. There was a strong evidence for the reduction of psychiatric symptoms after yoga and reduced feelings of anxiety and stress after progressive muscle relaxation. There is limited evidence for yoga in reducing feelings of anxiety and stress and for body-directed group techniques in reducing negative symptoms. Qualitative research reported that mindfulness – and massage-techniques were able to considerably reduce feelings of stress. There is no evidence for the beneficial effects of dancing techniques.
conclusion A body-directed approach can be effective an deserves to be included in the multidisciplinary treatment of schizophrenia.

keywords body experience, psychomotor therapy, schizophrenia