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Year: 2007

Internet-based CBT helps service members with post-traumatic stress

A recent study in the American Journal of Psychiatry reviews therapist-assisted, Internet-based, self-management cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for service members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This protocol was compared with Internet-based supportive counseling for PTSD. Both groups used websites, homework assignments, and educational information concerning PTSD. The authors found that the CBT protocol led to "sharper declines in daily log-on ratings of PTSD symptoms and global depression" in addition to…
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Complicated grief helped by cognitive restructuring and exposure therapy

The death of a loved one can precipitate the devastating clinical condition known as "complicated grief" (CG). In a study reported in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, maladaptive thinking and behaviors were described as significant contributors to CG. The effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was compared with nonspecific supportive counseling (SC). In this study, CBT methods included cognitive restructuring and exposure. People suffering with CG often avoid reminders of…
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Refractory angina (chronic chest pain) positively affected by CBT

People with chronic refractory angina are frequently hospitalized with severe chest pain. A recent study in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management indicates that outpatient cognitive-behavioral therapy improves angina status and quality of life, and reduces hospital admissions. In this study, after patients participated in a brief CBT protocol, admissions for chest pain were reduced from 2.40 per patient per year to 1.78. Only 8 myocardial infarctions (MI) were recorded…
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CBT reduces fear and restores function for patients after cardiac defibrillator implantation

A recent article in Current Psychiatry reviews the negative effects on quality of life for people who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) for irregular heart rhythms. These effects are particularly severe after the first experience of a "shock"---or ICD discharge. Though life-saving, these high-energy electrical discharges (shocks) are typically painful, and many patients experience anxiety, anger, and a sense of helplessness. After a shock, patients instinctively begin to analyze…
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Antidepressants used in combination with CBT reduces risk of teen suicide

The use of the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) alone has been associated with increased suicidality among teens and children, leading to black-box warnings on antidepressants in those populations. This in turn has caused serious concern in parents and has discouraged prescription, according to some researchers. A recent report on this issue focused on combining Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with the fluoxetine and found that "adding CBT to medication enhances the safety of…
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Adolescent Depression & Suicide Prevention: National Review of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

A national review of treatments for depressed adolescents (ages 13-17), with special focus on preventing teen suicide, finds Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to be highly effective. Age-appropriate adaptations of CBT yielded these key results: "CBT achieved a higher remission rate among youth (60%) than either systemic behavior family therapy (37.9%) or nondirective support therapy (39.4%)." Additionally, CBT yielded no adverse effects. (The reporting agency is a program of the US Department of Health…
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