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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-42
Effect of Raja yoga Meditation on psychological and functional outcomes in spinal cord injury patients

1 Spiritual Applications Research Centre of Rajyoga Education and Research Foundation of Brahma Kumaris, New Delhi, India
2 Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi, India
3 Centre for Consciousness Studies, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Ramajayam Govindaraj
Centre for Consciousness Studies, Department of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_68_20

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Background: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a debilitating disorder with dysfunction in daily activities and psychological consequences like anxiety as well as depression impacting the quality of life substantially. Existing treatments focus mainly on rehabilitation, symptom reduction, and secondary complications. However, psychological, social, and existential issues are least addressed in the prevailing models. Aims: To study the role of meditation in addressing psychological impairment and any resultant improvement in functional outcomes in SCI patients. Methods: Nonrandomized controlled study was conducted in a tertiary care center for SCI patients. Hospital inpatients were recruited into either experimental intervention group (add on easy raja yoga with conventional rehabilitation-ER n = 50) or control intervention group (conventional rehabilitation alone-CR n = 50). Patients in the ER group received easy raja yoga for 1 month, along with conventional rehabilitation and the CR group patients received only conventional rehabilitation. All the subjects were assessed for psychological (perceived stress scale [PSS], Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]) and functional impairment (spinal cord independence measure (SCIM), numeric pain rating (NPR) and WHO quality of life-BRIEF (WHOQOLBREF)] at baseline and after 1 month. Results: After 1 month of add-on easy raja yoga, there was significant decrease in the scores of HADS (F[1,88] = 272.92, P < 0.001), PSS (F[1,88] = 274.41, P < 0.001) and NPR (F[1,88] = 60.60, P < 0.001) and significant increase in the scores of WHOQOLBREF (F[1,88] = 349.94, P < 0.001) and SCIM (F[1,88] = 29.09, P < 0.001) in the ER group compared to CR group in analysis of covariance. Conclusion: One-month add-on easy raja yoga improves psychological and functional outcomes (HADS, PSS, NPR, WHOQOLBREF and SCIM) in patients with SCI. Future studies with robust designs are needed to validate the results.

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