A pilot study in Venezuela on 35 asthmatic children shows that 6 months of psychosocial intervention, teaching them relaxation, guided imagery and self esteem techniques, created impressive reduction in their asthmatic reactions. Nineteen children were assigned to the intervention group, and 16 to the control condition. Both groups received conventional treatment. During the 6 months of the study, the intervention group experienced significantly fewer asthmatic episodes, less use of bronchodilator medication and improved pulmonary function when compared with 6 months before the intervention. In addition, this group had a significant reduction in IgE responses against primary allergens, an increase in NK (natural killer) cells, along with other impressive changes in surface markers - in fact, these became similar to those of non-asthmatic kids from the same vicinity. None of these changes were seen in the controls.
Citation: Castes M, Hagel I, Palenque M, Canelones P, Corao A, Lynch N. Immunological Changes Associated with Clinical Improvement of Asthmatic Children Subjected to Psychological Invention. Brain, Behavior and Immunity; 13, 1-3, 1999.
A systematic review of stress and stress management interventions for mental health nurses.
Edwards and Burnard from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff reviewed stress management interventions for mental health nurses. A systematic review of research in the UK, published between 1966 and 2000 was done, identifying 77 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Most of the studies (69) focused on the causes of stress. Eight studies examined the efficacy of various interventions.
A new review of the literature by Jonathan Bisson of University Hospital in Cardiff, Wales, examines the results of 13 randomized, controlled trials of single session interventions shortly after a traumatic event, to see whether or not symptoms of PTSD were prevented or reduced. As was the case with previous reviews over the past 2 years, this study showed no clinical effect. “With the present evidence”, Bisson writes, “the routine use of single-session interventions following traumatic events cannot be justified. This does not mean that there should be nothing offered, as many individuals involved in traumatic events clearly have emotional needs. Hopefully, future research will identify alternative forms of early intervention that prove useful to those individuals who would otherwise develop more significant psychological difficulties.”
Citation: Bisson, Jonathan I. Single-session early psychological interventions following traumatic events. Clinical Psychology Review (ISSN: 0272-7358), v. 23, no. 3, pp