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Intervention on depression and insomnia symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic

, James Donovan, Surekha Bhat, Hari Tunuguntla, Renuka Tunuguntla, Babu Gupta, Ishan Shivanand

Abstract: Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant psychological challenges globally. Evidence has been mounting of greater emotional distress and possible worsening of underlying psychiatric disorders, due to repercussions of COVID-19. In addition, the pandemic has created barriers to access for help, due to social distancing and travel restrictions. Thus, creating a major need for effective interventions that can be accessed safely from home and provide coping tools which can be learned and practiced while in isolation. An App based Yoga of Immortals (YOI) program is one such strategy to help cope with stressful situations. The objective of this study was to investigate if the YOI program can provide significant benefit for depressive and insomnia symptoms. Material and Methods: Participants in this study were asked to complete two brief online but well validated mental health screening tools before intervention. This was followed by a 7-week long YOI intervention. Following the intervention, participants were once again asked to complete the online validated questionnaires. The survey questionnaires included baseline demographic data and validated scales for measuring insomnia severity Insomnia severity Index (ISI) and levels of depression symptoms patient health questionnaire-8, (PHQ-8). All statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Science. Results: SY YOI intervention of 7 weeks significantly improved the ISI scores as well as PHQ-8 scores in the study population (P < 0.0001 in all comparisons). Conclusion: YOI intervention is an effective intervention strategy for decreasing insomnia and depression symptoms, even during the pandemic.
Keywords: COVID / intervention / depression / insomnia symptoms / created / Package / survey / YOI / stressful

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