[Recently] in The New York Times, David Tuller [wrote] about a study published in The Lancet that shows that psychotherapy is an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. In his article “Psychotherapy Eases Chronic Fatigue, Study Shows,” Tuller writes:
The new study, conducted at clinics in Britain and financed by that country’s government, is expected to lend ammunition to those who think the disease is primarily psychological or related to stress.
The authors note that the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy, the type of psychotherapy tested in the study, is to change the psychological factors “assumed to be responsible for perpetuation of the participant’s symptoms and disability.”
In the long-awaited study, patients who were randomly assigned to receive cognitive behavioral therapy or exercise therapy, in combination with specialized medical care, reported reduced fatigue levels and greater improvement in physical functioning than those receiving the medical care alone — or getting the medical care along with training in how to recognize the onset of fatigue and to adjust their activities accordingly.
Interesting. Generally I like to stay away from the “it’s all in your head” debates. I’ll let the commenters do the talking here.
*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*
“This job is killing me” is not a statement of jest. It is a desperate plea of outright sincerity.
Stress, anxiety, depression — all have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. But can interventions to help people cope with stress positively affect longevity and decrease risk of dying? The results of a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine would imply the answer is an encouraging “yes.”
Constructively dealing with stress is easier said than done, but it would seem logical that if we can reduce our psychological and social stressors we might live longer and delay the inevitable wear and tear on our vessels. This study proved that one such intervention, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for patients who suffered a first heart attack, lowered the risk of fatal and nonfatal recurrent cardiovascular disease events by 41 percent over eight years. Nonfatal heart attacks were almost cut in half. Excitement may be dampened by the fact that all-cause mortality did not statistically differ between the intervention and control groups, but did trend towards an improvement in the eight years of follow up.
Definitely less suffering. Maybe less deaths.
The authors state that psychosocial stressors have been shown to account for an astounding 30 percent of the attributable risk of having a heart attack. Chronic stressors include low socioeconomic status, low social support, marital problems, and work distress. Emotional factors also correlated with cardiovascular disease include major depression, hostility, anger, and anxiety. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Examining Room of Dr. Charles*
According to a doctoral thesis to be presented by Jan Bergström at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) via the Internet is just as effective in treating panic disorder as traditional group-based CBT. It’s also apparently efficacious for the treatment of mild and moderate depression.
Access to conventional CBT is limited in Sweden, so an Internet-based CBT was developed in which the patient undergoes an Internet-based self-help program and has contact with a therapist by email. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*