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.
Basic Body Awareness Therapy (BBAT) is a form of physiotherapy that is often used for psychiatric patients in Scandinavian countries. To our knowledge there has not been any studies investigating BBAT as a treatment for traumatised refugees until now.
To explore the compliance, acceptability and treatment satisfaction using group BBAT in traumatised refugees. To study changes in psychiatric and somatic symptoms as well as quality of life, level of functioning and quality of movement during treatment with BBAT.
All Arabic speaking patients that previously had received treatment at the Competence Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry in Copenhagen from April 2008 to June 2009 were invited to participate (N=29). Nine persons were included in a male (N=4) and female (N=5) group. All participants were traumatised refugees. The BBAT treatment consisted of 14 sessions over a period of 14 weeks. Before and after treatment the participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were transcribed and analysed with a thematic approach. The participants also filled out self-administrated questionnaires and two physiotherapists tested the participants' movement harmony using the Body Awareness Rating Scale-Movement Harmony (BARS-MH) test. At the end of the study, the participants filled out anonymous questionnaires about treatment satisfaction.
The results showed that the participants had a high compliance, acceptability and treatment satisfaction with BBAT. The majority of participants showed improvements in symptoms from baseline to post-intervention on the self-administrated questionnaires and in the BARS-MH test.
Further research is needed to expand the scientific knowledge regarding the use of BBAT in traumatised refugees. If future research can confirm our positive findings it will have a considerable impact on future treatment designs and for the individual patient.
This randomized prospective study examines durability of improvement in general symptomatology, psychosocial functioning and interpersonal problems, and compares the long-term efficacy of analytic and systemic group psychotherapy in women 1 year after completion of treatment for childhood sexual abuse.
Women (n = 106) randomly assigned to analytic or systemic psychotherapy completed the Symptom Checklist-90-R, Global Assessment of Functioning, Global Life Quality, Registration Chart Questionnaire, and Flashback Registration at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at a 1-year follow-up.
Post-treatment gains were significant for both treatment modalities on all measures, but significantly larger after systemic therapy. Significant treatment response was maintained 1-year post-treatment, but different trajectories were observed: 1 year after treatment completion, improvements for analytic therapy were maintained, whereas they decreased after systemic therapy, resulting in no statistically significant difference in gains between the groups at the 1-year follow-up. Despite maintaining significant gains, more than half of the patients remained above cut-off for caseness concerning general symptomatology at post-treatment and at 1-year follow-up.
The findings stress the importance of long-term follow-up data in effect studies. Different trajectories were associated with the two treatments, but improvement in the two treatment groups did not differ significantly at the 1-year follow-up. Implications of the difference in trajectories for treatment planning are discussed.
Both analytic and systemic group therapy proved efficient in improving general symptomatology, psychosocial functioning, and interpersonal problems in women with a history of CSA and gains were maintained at a 1-year follow-up. Despite maintaining statistically significant gains at the 1-year follow-up, 54% of the patients remained above the cut-off for caseness with respect to general symptomatology, which may indicate a need for further treatment. Different pre-post follow-up treatment trajectories were observed between the two treatment modalities. Thus, while systemic group therapy showed a significantly better outcome immediately after termination, gains in the systemic treatment group decreased during follow-up, while gains were maintained during follow-up in analytic group therapy.
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
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.
In a large number of patients aortocoronary shunting often leads to persistent neurotic disorders' development. Taking into account the biological, psychological and social factors contributing to the disease pathogenesis, the authors tend to introduce some methods of active involvement of patients into a rehabilitation-prophylactic process to restore their mental health balance, behavioral standards, communicative habits etc.
A first aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of an open group therapy for sexually abused teenagers using a quasi-experimental pretest/posttest treatment design. A second aim was to explore whether differential gains were linked to an open versus a closed group format. Results indicate that sexually abused girls involved in an open group therapy showed significant gains relative to teenagers of the control group girls for the majority of the variables considered. Analyses contrasting the two formats of group therapy fail to identify statistical differences suggesting that both open and closed group formats are likely to be associated with the same significant gains for sexually abused teenagers.
This paper gives a description of a psychosocial/psychoeducational group intervention for individuals with a history of recurrent suicide attempts. The intervention was conceived to reduce the risk of future suicidal behavior and to modify the client's psychopathology. Three features are felt to make the intervention unique from others described in the literature. First, the intervention is targeted at both men and women from an inner-city population who are often underhoused, underemployed, and undereducated. 24 of 48 clients (50%) lived alone, and 24 of those (92%) were living in subsidized housing; 33% lived in supportive housing, and one lived on the street at the time of assessment. 48% had a high-school education or less. Second, the principles of our approach stressed client validation and participation in the development and delivery of the therapy. Our frame of reference was to name ourselves as professionals with a set of skills and access to some kinds of information and clients as the experts on the experience in their lives. Third, the group content incorporated a multimodal approach to meet the varied needs of the clients. Future reports will discuss the empirical evaluation of this intervention; however, the development of specific, targeted approaches for unique individuals with recurrent suicide attempts is clearly needed.
This article describes the public mental health approach used to develop and implement a school-based postwar trauma/grief intervention program for adolescents in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This approach includes development of multilateral partnerships with local and ministerial stakeholders, systematic assessment that yields a detailed understanding of the specific range and severity of trauma and loss experiences, current adversities and trauma reminders among the affected population, and a training program aimed at developing the capacities of local service providers and an indigenous support infrastructure so that the intervention program may be directed and sustained by people within the communities served. Concluding comments detail an expanded conceptual framework for public mental health interventions that may be appropriate for terrorist and mass-casualty events.