Can yoga reduce depression among pregnant women?
Data of publication of the systematic review: February 2015
Design
Systematic review of 6 randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Participants
A total of 375 pregnant women (mean age: not reported) who were diagnosed with clinical depression or those with depressive symptoms.
Intervention
Yoga program including exercise-based yoga (3/6) and yoga with Tai Chi (1/6), relaxation (1/6) and meditation (1/6).
Comparator
Comparison: Yoga program versus standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support.
Major Outcomes
Outcome 1: Depression level measured by Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) or Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Higher scores indicated higher level of depression.
Settings
The reviewers did not state whether the study was conducted in in-patient or out-patient settings.
Comparison    Yoga program versus standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support
Main Results
Compared to standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support, participants of yoga program had shown significantly lower level of depression (pooled SMD: -0.59, 95% CI: -0.94 to -0.25).
Comparison: Yoga program versus standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support among pregnant women
Outcome No. of studies (Total no. of participants) Mean score/ No. of participants Heterogeneity test (I2) Pooled SMD (95% CI) Overall quality of evidence*
Intervention Comparator
1 6 (375) Not reported/417 Not reported/392 60% -0.59 (-0.94 to -0.25) Low
Keys: SMD: standardized mean difference; CI: confidence interval.
Comparison    Yoga program versus standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support
Main Results
Compared to standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support, participants of yoga program had shown significantly lower level of depression (pooled SMD: -0.59, 95% CI: -0.94 to -0.25).
Comparison: Yoga program versus standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support among pregnant women
Outcome 1
No. of studies (Total no. of participants) 6 (375)
Mean score/ No. of participants Intervention Not reported/417
Comparator Not reported/392
Pooled SMD (95% CI) -0.59 (-0.94 to -0.25)
Overall quality of evidence* Low
Keys: SMD: standardized mean difference; CI: confidence interval.
Conclusion
Benefits
Yoga program is effective in reducing depression among pregnant women, compared to standard prenatal care, standard antenatal exercises or social support. For Outcome 1, the overall quality of evidence is low. Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
Harms
No adverse events were reported.
Link to Original Article
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25652267
The synopsis is based on the following article:
Gong H, Ni C, Shen X, Wu T, Jiang C. Yoga for prenatal depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry. 2015 Feb 5;15(1):14.


* Interpretation of quality assessment results:
• Very low: Further research is most likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Low: Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Moderate: Further research is fairly likely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• High: Further research is unlikely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.
• Very high: Further research is most unlikely to have an important impact on our confidence in this estimate of effect.

Details of assessment method can be found at Chung VC, Wu XY, Ziea ET, Ng BF, Wong SY, Wu JC. Assessing internal validity of clinical evidence on effectiveness of CHinese and integrative medicine: Proposed framework for a CHinese and Integrative Medicine Evidence RAting System (CHIMERAS). European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2015 Aug 31;7(4):332-41.