Listed in Issue 206


VANCAMPFORT and COLLEAGUES, University Psychiatric Centre Catholic University Leuven, Campus Kortenberg, Kortenberg, Belgium.  examined the efficacy of a single progressive muscle relaxation session compared with a control condition on state anxiety, psychological stress, fatigue and subjective well-being in patients with schizophrenia.



Randomized controlled trial. An acute inpatient care unit of an University Psychiatric Centre. Sixty-four out of 88 eligible patients with schizophrenia. Patients were randomly assigned to either a single progressive muscle relaxation session during 25 minutes or a resting control condition with the opportunity to read for an equal amount of time. Before and after the single interventions the State anxiety inventory and the Subjective exercise experiences scale were completed. Effect sizes were calculated.


Only within progressive muscle relaxation, participants (n=27) showed decreased state anxiety, psychological stress and fatigue and increased subjective well-being. Between-group differences in post scores were found for state anxiety, subjective well-being and psychological stress, but not for fatigue. The effect size favouring progressive muscle relaxation was 1.26 for subjective well-being and -1.25 and -1.02 for respectively state anxiety and psychological stress.


Progressive muscle relaxation is highly effective in reducing acute feelings of stress and anxiety in patients with schizophrenia. A reduction in stress and state anxiety is associated with an increase in subjective well-being.


Vancampfort D, De Hert M, Knapen J, Maurissen K, Raepsaet J, Deckx S, Remans S and Probst M. Effects of progressive muscle relaxation on state anxiety and subjective well-being in people with schizophrenia: a randomized controlled trial. Source Clinical Rehabilitation. 25(6):567-75. Jun 2011.

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