Cognitive behavior therapy significantly reduced depression and anxiety in chronic pain patients

The results of a study presented today at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR) 2017 has shown that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that focuses on psychological flexibility and behaviour change, provided a significant reduction in self-reported depression and anxiety among patients participating in a pain rehabilitation programme.

This treatment also resulted in significant increases in self-efficacy, activity engagement and pain acceptance.

To assess the potential benefits of an 8-week programme of group Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in people with persistent pain, measures of pain acceptance and activity engagement were taken using the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire. Measures of psychological distress using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and self-efficacy were also taken at assessment, on the final day of the programme, and at the follow up six-month review.

Full story of CBT and depression in chronic pain patients at Science Daily

Behavioral activation as effective as CBT for depression, at lower cost

A simple and inexpensive therapy is equally as effective at treating depression as the “gold standard” of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a large scale study has concluded.

Behavioural Activation (BA) is relatively simple, meaning it can be delivered by more junior staff with less training, making it a cost-effective option. It is around 20 per cent cheaper than CBT, meaning it could help ease current difficulties in accessing therapy, and could make it more realistic to deliver for a wider range of countries worldwide. BA encourages people to focus on meaningful activities driven by their own personal values as a way of overcoming depression.

Led by researchers from the University of Exeter, the multi-centre COBRA study is one of the largest in the world to assess psychological treatments of depression through a randomised controlled trial, by comparing different treatments between groups.

Full story of behavioral activation and CBT for depression at Science Daily

Innovative health program reduces depression, unhealthy weights in teens

An innovative high school health program helped students maintain healthier weights and even alleviated severe depression for a full year after the program ended.

Researchers found that 12 months after completing the COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN Program, students had markedly lower body mass index than students who received a more standard health curriculum. Additionally, COPE teens who began the program with extremely elevated depression had symptoms in the normal range after 12 months.

COPE (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) Healthy Lifestyles TEEN (Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition) teaches adolescents that how they think is directly related to how they feel and behave. It also teaches them how to turn negative beliefs triggered by “activating events” into positive beliefs so that they feel emotionally better and engage in healthy behaviors. The program is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), with an emphasis on skills-building.

Full story of COPE to help reduce depression in teens at Science Daily

Online cognitive behavioral therapy benefits people with depression, anxiety

Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) combined with clinical care has been shown to benefit people with depression, anxiety and emotional distress from illness, according to an evidence-based review in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

“In the age of Google, this psychological intervention is empowering, clinically efficient and consistent with the way that, increasingly, patients interact with health care,” write Dr. David Gratzer, attending psychiatrist, and Faiza Khalid-Khan, social worker and Director of Mental Health, The Scarborough Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.

The review looks at recent, high quality studies and the growing body of literature on smartphone and tablet applications for mental illness. Some studies showed that patients who used Internet-delivered CBT had better outcomes than placebo controls and equal or better outcomes than those with traditional in-person cognitive behaviour therapy. These outcomes were seen in patients with depression, as well as those with physical illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Full story of online cognitive behavioral therapy for depression at Science Daily

Major health consequences for individuals with severe dental anxiety

Adults who suffer from severe dental anxiety (DA) are often dissatisfied with their appearance. The dissatisfaction may be associated with poorer oral health, depression and anxiety. A doctoral thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) help patients with severe DA.

Severe DA is associated with major health-related problems. The various studies conducted in connection with a doctoral thesis at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, included more than 3,500 subjects.

Avoidance of dental care According to the findings, DA is generally associated with avoidance of dental care, as well as poorer quality of life related to oral health. The studies also demonstrated that adults with severe DA are often dissatisfied with the appearance of their mouth, teeth and face.

Full story of health issues connected to severe dental anxiety at Science Daily

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia reduces suicidal thoughts in veterans

A new study is the first to show that the treatment of insomnia in veterans is associated with a significant reduction in suicidal ideation.

Results show that suicidal ideation decreased by 33 percent following up to six sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Further analysis found that the reduction in insomnia severity achieved during CBT-I was associated with a concurrent decrease in the odds of suicidal ideation. This relationship remained significant after controlling for potential confounders such as change in depression severity.

“It was striking to see that the reduction in insomnia severity was associated with reduced suicidal ideation even after controlling for improvement in depression severity,” said co-lead author Bradley Karlin, PhD, ABPP, who is currently Chief of Mental Health and Aging at the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). Karlin served as National Mental Health Director for Psychotherapy and Psychogeriatrics in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office at the time the evaluation was conducted. “The results suggest that effective treatment of insomnia with CBT-I is an important target for reducing suicide risk among veterans and others at risk for suicide,” said Karlin.

Full story of therapy for insomnia and suicide at Science Daily