, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 227-264

Autogenic Training: A narrative and quantitative review of clinical outcome

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This review of controlled outcome research on Autogenic Training complements the literature by pooling narrative and quantitative approaches, by including only studies with experimental controls, by integrating the English and German literature, and by adding research findings published since the last review. Whereas previous reviews have already reported positive effects of Autogenic Training for migraine, insomnia, and test anxiety, additional supportive findings for angina pectoris, asthma, childbirth, eczema, hypertension, infertility, Raynaud's disease, and recovery from myocardial infarction are discussed here. The impact of protocol variations on outcome is described, and the specificity of Autogenic Training relative to other stress management techniques is highlighted. Quantitative findings suggested that Autogenic Training was associated with medium-sized pre- to posttreatment effects ranging from d =.43 for biological indices of change to d =.58 for psychological and behavioral indices thus matching effect sizes for other biobehavioral treatment techniques like biofeedback and muscular relaxation. Length of treatment did not affect clinical outcome. The discussion emphasizes how narrative and quantitative strategies complement one another.

I am most grateful for the critical comments provided by Laura Chambers, Tracey Earle, Joseph Lenz, Ernest G. Poser, and Carmen Stossel on an earlier version of this manuscript. This article was written while the author was supported by grants from the National Health Research and Development Program and the British Columbia and Yukon Heart and Stroke Foundation.