Health anxiety (or hypochondriasis) is prevalent, may be persistent and disabling for the sufferers and associated with high societal costs. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a new third-wave behavioral cognitive therapy that has not yet been tested in health anxiety. 34 consecutive Danish patients with severe health anxiety were referred from general practitioners or hospital departments and received a ten-session ACT group therapy. Patients were followed up by questionnaires for 6 months. There were significant reductions in health anxiety, somatic symptoms and emotional distress at 6 months compared to baseline: a 49% reduction in health anxiety (Whiteley-7 Index), a 47% decrease in emotional distress (SCL-8), and a 40% decrease in somatic symptoms (SCL-90R Somatization Subscale). The patients' emotional representations and perception of the consequences of their illness (IPQ) improved significantly, and 87% of the patients were very or extremely satisfied with the treatment.
Different types of client attachment insecurity may affect the psychotherapeutic process in distinct ways. This exploratory study compared the in-session discourse of clients with dismissing and preoccupied attachment states of mind on Adult Attachment Interviews conducted prior to therapy in the context of a randomized clinical trial of psychoanalytic and cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy for bulimia nervosa. In a subsample of six sessions from each of eight therapy dyads, preoccupied clients were found to talk more and have longer speaking turns than dismissing clients, who in turn generated more pauses. Using the Narrative Processes Coding System, preoccupied clients were found to show more narrative initiative; whereas, differences in terms of narrative process modes were not as clearly interpretable. Contrary to expectations, the two insecure states of mind were equally different in the relationship-focused psychoanalytic therapy and in the symptom-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy. Suggestions for further investigations of the in-session discourse of clients with different attachment states of mind are given.
Affect school and script analysis versus basic body awareness therapy in the treatment of psychological symptoms in patients with diabetes and high HbA1c concentrations: two study protocols for two randomized controlled trials.
Depression is linked with alexithymia, anxiety, high HbA1c concentrations, disturbances of cortisol secretion, increased prevalence of diabetes complications and all-cause mortality. The psycho-educational method 'affect school with script analysis' and the mind-body therapy 'basic body awareness treatment' will be trialled in patients with diabetes, high HbA1c concentrations and psychological symptoms. The primary outcome measure is change in symptoms of depression. Secondary outcome measures are changes in HbA1c concentrations, midnight salivary cortisol concentration, symptoms of alexithymia, anxiety, self-image measures, use of antidepressants, incidence of diabetes complications and mortality.
Two studies will be performed. Study I is an open-labeled parallel-group study with a two-arm randomized controlled trial design. Patients are randomized to either affect school with script analysis or to basic body awareness treatment. According to power calculations, 64 persons are required in each intervention arm at the last follow-up session. Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes were recruited from one hospital diabetes outpatient clinic in 2009. The trial will be completed in 2016. Study II is a multicentre open-labeled parallel-group three-arm randomized controlled trial. Patients will be randomized to affect school with script analysis, to basic body awareness treatment, or to treatment as usual. Power calculations show that 70 persons are required in each arm at the last follow-up session. Patients with type 2 diabetes will be recruited from primary care. This study will start in 2016 and finish in 2023. For both studies, the inclusion criteria are: HbA1c concentration =62.5 mmol/mol; depression, alexithymia, anxiety or a negative self-image; age 18-59 years; and diabetes duration =1 year. The exclusion criteria are pregnancy, severe comorbidities, cognitive deficiencies or inadequate Swedish. Depression, anxiety, alexithymia and self-image are assessed using self-report instruments. HbA1c concentration, midnight salivary cortisol concentration, blood pressure, serum lipid concentrations and anthropometrics are measured. Data are collected from computerized medical records and the Swedish national diabetes and causes of death registers.
Whether the "affect school with script analysis" will reduce psychological symptoms, increase emotional awareness and improve diabetes related factors will be tried, and compared to "basic body awareness treatment" and treatment as usual.
A group of highly traumatized refugees n = 26 with diverse cultural backgrounds in a Danish Clinic for Traumatized Refugees (CTR) was assessed for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and other aspects of general functioning. Patients were assessed at intake, after the end of treatment and six months later. The results point to very high symptom levels and a large need for treatment in this population. Psychiatric symptoms and their correlates were assessed with the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), the Trauma Symptom Checklist-23 (TSC-23), the Global Assessment of Function (GAF), and the Crisis Support Scale (CSS). The Trail Making Test A & B (TMT) was used as a screening instrument for acquired brain damage, with promising results. Indications of effectiveness from 16-18 weeks of multidisciplinary treatment (physiotherapy, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and social counseling) were supported with small to medium effect sizes on most outcome measures. The results are discussed in terms of clinical implications and future treatment, assessment, and research needs.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is effective for treating anxiety disorders and is offered in most mental health services around the world. However, a relatively large number of patients with anxiety disorders do not benefit from CBT, experience relapses or drop out. Reliable predictors of treatment effects are lacking. The aim of this study is to investigate the predictive value of emotion regulation and attentional control for CBT outcome in a routine setting.
In this prospective and practice-based study, 112 patients with anxiety disorders referred for manual-based group CBT at two psychiatric outpatient clinics will be recruited. Emotion regulation, severity of anxiety and attentional control will be assessed with self-report measures and with an experimental computer-based attentional control task at baseline, post-treatment and at a 6-month follow-up. Emotion regulation will be measured with Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, severity of anxiety will be assessed with Beck Anxiety Inventory and attentional control will be measured with the self-report questionnaire, Attention Control Scale, and with an experimental computer-based attentional control task based on theory of visual attention. Data will be analysed using multilevel mixed-effects modelling.
The study is approved by the Danish National Ethical Board, the Department of Psychology Ethical Board, University of Copenhagen and by the Danish Data Protection Agency. Study findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal publications and conference presentations. The Danish Committee System on Health Research Ethics has been notified about the project.
Preliminary data support the implementation of individual metacognitive therapy (MCT) for depression. Given the focus of MCT on transpersonal processes, we hypothesized that this treatment should translate well to a group format. In this study, the effects and feasibility associated with group MCT for depression are reported.
Eleven patients who were consecutively referred by general practitioners to a specialist psychiatric practice in Norway participated in an open trial of the effects and feasibility associated with group MCT for depression. All of the patients met the DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD) and were monitored in a baseline period before attending 90-min weekly treatment sessions of group MCT for 10 weeks. The primary symptom outcome measure was severity of depression whilst secondary outcome measures included levels of anxiety, rumination and metacognitive beliefs. We also assessed recovery rates and changes in comorbid Axis I and Axis II diagnoses.
Large clinically significant improvements across all measures were detected at post-treatment and these were maintained at follow-up. Based on objectively defined recovery criteria, all patients were classified as recovered at post-treatment and 91% at 6 months follow-up. The intervention was also associated with significant reductions in comorbid diagnoses.
These preliminary data indicate that group MCT in the treatment of depression is effective, well accepted and it extends clinical application of MCT for depression to group formats as a potential cost-effective intervention.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is a group-based psychosocial intervention designed to enhance self-management of prodromal symptoms associated with depressive relapse.
To compare rates of relapse in depressed patients in remission receiving MBCT against maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy, the current standard of care.
Patients who met remission criteria after 8 months of algorithm-informed antidepressant treatment were randomized to receive maintenance antidepressant medication, MBCT, or placebo and were followed up for 18 months.
Outpatient clinics at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and St Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario.
One hundred sixty patients aged 18 to 65 years meeting DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder with a minimum of 2 past episodes. Of these, 84 achieved remission (52.5%) and were assigned to 1 of the 3 study conditions.
Patients in remission discontinued their antidepressants and attended 8 weekly group sessions of MBCT, continued taking their therapeutic dose of antidepressant medication, or discontinued active medication and were switched to placebo.
Relapse was defined as a return, for at least 2 weeks, of symptoms sufficient to meet the criteria for major depression on module A of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV.
Intention-to-treat analyses showed a significant interaction between the quality of acute-phase remission and subsequent prevention of relapse in randomized patients (P = .03). Among unstable remitters (1 or more Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression score >7 during remission), patients in both MBCT and maintenance treatment showed a 73% decrease in hazard compared with placebo (P = .03), whereas for stable remitters (all Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores =7 during remission) there were no group differences in survival.
For depressed patients achieving stable or unstable clinical remission, MBCT offers protection against relapse/recurrence on a par with that of maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy. Our data also highlight the importance of maintaining at least 1 long-term active treatment in unstable remitters.
Cites: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004 Jan;61(1):34-4114706942
To explore the feasibility of utilizing Cool Kids, a mainstream resource based on cognitive behavioural principles, to address acute and chronic anxiety with Aboriginal children in a remote setting.
Evidence from the literature suggests some symptomatic differences and learning challenges which demand consideration prior to implementation in this population. In particular, cultural sensitivities in many areas need to be respected, as does the sense of interconnectedness in terms of self and thinking.
Given sufficient knowledge, appropriate cultural protocol, and concentration on engagement it should be possible to use an adapted Cool Kids program to decrease the high levels of anxiety in a remote Indigenous population. Being aware of the differences in western and Indigenous thinking and learning will help direct adaptation.
Youths with an anxiety disorder, who had a primary social phobia diagnosis and those, who had a comorbid mood disorder, were more likely not to respond to manualized group CBT. Parents of those non-responding youths often considered them as motivated to overcome their difficulties, but due to their symptomatology, they were unreceptive, reluctant and ambivalent and therefore not actively involved in therapy. The non-responding youths with social phobia felt evaluated and nervous of what others thought of them in the group. The parents of the non-responding youths with a comorbid mood disorder felt the group format placed restraints on therapists' ability to focus on their individual needs.
The genetic effect of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on treatment response in depression is not consistent in the literature. Childhood adversity is a known risk factor for depression which has been reported to increase depression susceptibility by interacting with BDNF genetic variation. We aimed to explore whether the BDNF variation Val66Met and childhood adversity (CA) predicted the treatment response to a 12-week intervention with physical exercise (PE) or internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT) when compared with treatment as usual (TAU). A prospective cohort study nested within a randomised control trial was conducted using data from 547 participants with mild to moderate depression. Depression severity at baseline and follow-up was measured using the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale. Met allele carriers without exposure to CA and current antidepressant use showed higher treatment response to PE than Val homozygotes. There was no evidence to support that BDNF Val66Met or CA alone predicted treatment response to PE and ICBT. The Met carriers had higher serum mature BDNF level. These data suggest that Met allele carriers benefit more from PE treatment but only if they are not exposed to early adversity.