Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
Studies have persistently shown that anxiety disorders cause morbidity, increased use of health care services, decreased work productivity, work absence and will possibly be one of the leading causes of disability in the twenty-first century. In the treatment of anxiety disorders, psychopharmacological interventions with benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) have shown their efficacy. Non-pharmacologic interventions may be proposed as an alternative option, with the aim to reduce perceived anxiety and stress and to increase the sense of well being in the general population and relaxation – meditation techniques represent one of the most important alternatives in anxiety intervention worldwide.
The aim of the present study is to determine the effectiveness of an intensive four-week structured group relaxation-training program (sophrology’s dynamic relaxation) on anxiety and depression symptoms in primary care patients with moderate and high anxiety levels.
Who can participate?
Patients with moderate and high anxiety levels aged between 18 and 70 years.
What does the study involve?
Participants attend 12 one-hour sessions over a 4 week period. The intervention group will participate in the dynamic relaxation program called “well-being and sophrology” and the control group will participate in a cognitive program based on physical and mental health recommendations.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Possible benefits are the improvement of anxiety and depression symptoms. No risks expected as a result of participation.
Where is the study run from?
Medical Health Care Centre “Serraparera”, Cerdanyola, Barcelona.
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
Who is funding the study?
Investigator-initiated and funded.
Who is the main contact?
Koen van Rangelrooij
Mr Koen van Rangelrooij
Balmes 177 pral 2
Effectiveness of a structured group relaxation-training programme based on sophrology’s dynamic relaxation techniques for primary care patients with moderate and high anxiety levels: a randomised controlled trial
The Dynamic relaxation programme (sophrology) is more effective than a physical and mental health recommendations programme in patients with moderate and high anxiety levels.
Approved 20/10/2015, the University Review Board of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (CEIm – Parc de Salut MAR, Dr. Aiguader, 88, 08003, Barcelona; 93 316 06 77; firstname.lastname@example.org), ref: 2015/6141/I.
Interventional and experimental study design, single centre, randomized controlled trial,
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised controlled trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet
Both programs covered a total of 12 one-hour sessions over 4 weeks (3 sessions a week). The intervention group followed the structured dynamic relaxation program called “well-being and sophrology” and the control group a cognitive program based on physical and mental health recommendations (PMHR). Simple random sampling was used. Two physicians, two nurses and a psychologist from the Medical Health Care Centre guided both the sophrology intervention and the PMHR (Physical and Mental Health Recommendations) control programme.
Primary outcome measure
Anxiety was measured using the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) at the beginning of the first and the last session of the training programme.
Secondary outcome measures
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. A score >7 for the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale - anxiety subscale
2. 18 to 70 years of age
Target number of participants
Total final enrolment
Participant exclusion criteria
1. Initiated or changed pharmacological, behavioural or any other therapy during the programme
2. Presented uncontrolled mental illness
3. Planned to participate in other therapies or similar programmes such as Yoga, Mindfulness, meditation, acupuncture, or other
4. During the programme suffered from important stressful life events
5. Not able to participate for linguistic, cultural or physical problems
6. Could not attend sessions regularly (<80% attendance)
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Medical Health Care Centre “Serraparera”
Carrer Diagonal, s/n,
Cerdanyola del Valles
Investigator initiated and funded
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Planned publication in the “Journal of Psychosomatic Research”, the Spanish journal “Psiquiatría y Salud Mental” or another high impact peer-reviewed journal.
IPD sharing statement: the data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
To be made available at a later date
Basic results (scientific)