Implementation of a non-randomized controlled trial of yoga-based intervention to reduce behavioural issues in early adolescent school-going children in Sri Lanka

Sivashankar, Josephine T., Surenthirakumaran, Rajendra, Doherty, Shannon and Sathiakumar, Nalini (2022) Implementation of a non-randomized controlled trial of yoga-based intervention to reduce behavioural issues in early adolescent school-going children in Sri Lanka. Globalization and Health, 8. p. 27. ISSN 1744-8603

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-022-00819-3

Abstract

Background- Adolescence can be difficult to navigate and the post-conflict environment in Jaffna Province, Sri Lanka compounds existing issues for adolescents. Conduct problems, hyperactivity along with emotional problems are challenges faced by adolescents, particularly in fragile, post-conflict settings. This study was a non-randomized controlled trial carried out in 4 educational zones over 6 months. The study implemented a yoga-based intervention package: two types of slow breathing for 5-6 min, Surya-namaskaram for 6-8 min, and mindfulness meditation for 5-6 min. Pre/post quantitative assessments were conducted with intervention and control groups. A focus group was conducted with the intervention group. The aim was to evaluate. Effectiveness of implementing a yoga-based intervention package in grade 8 school children (early adolescents) to address behavioural problems. Results- Paired t-test and independent t-tests were completed for both arms using statistical product and service solutions (SPSS21). Parents’ assessments of emotional issues reduced for the intervention group (n = 584) [t(584) = 11.41, p = 0.001] along with reduction of the total difficulty score [t(584) = 28.12, p = 0.001]. Teachers’ assessments indicated prosocial scores improved in the intervention group [t(584) = − 28.5, p = 0.001]. Students’ self-assessments in the intervention group indicate a reduction in emotional problems [t(584) = 6.4, p = 0.001], and reduction in problems with peers [t(584) = 14.4, p = 0.001]. Within the control group (n = 499), teachers’ assessments indicated emotional problems increased [t(499) = − 9.5, p = 0.001] and prosocial scores reduced [t(499) = 13.5, p = 0.001]. Students’ self-assessments in the control group indicated emotional problems increased [t(499) = − 27.1, p = 0.001]. A comparison of post-test scores revealed a statistically significant difference between groups. Focus group results indicate students felt the intervention had an overall positive effect on school achievements, family dynamics and individual health. Conclusions- This yoga-based intervention package appeared to be effective in reducing both externalizing and internalizing symptoms in adolescents. Practicing Surya-namaskaram, breathing control techniques and mindfulness meditation significantly reduced both externalizing symptoms (conduct problems and hyperactivity) as well as internalizing symptom (emotional problem and peer problems). It is recommended this intervention be scaled up across Sri Lanka and other similar post-conflict regions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Adolescents, Teenagers, Post-conflict, Behavioural problems, Yoga-based intervention
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 14:36
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 16:21
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707331

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