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16 Feb

Researchers from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton reviewed the literature to see which complementary therapies can effectively reduce anxiety before diagnostic cardiac catheterization. The article cites music therapy, massage, guided imagery, therapeutic touch and stress management instruction as modalities that have been used successfully to decrease patient anxiety prior to diagnostic cardiac catheterization, providing better patient outcomes.
21 Jun

Psychologists from UCLA compared outcomes from adding cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to medications for the treatment of panic disorder, as compared to using medications alone.

Primary-care patients with panic disorder reported on their receipt of CBT and medications over the 3 months following a baseline assessment. The degree to which outcomes for those who used anti-panic medications were enhanced by the receipt of at least one component of CBT was analyzed (using a propensity score model that took into account observable baseline patient characteristics influencing both treatment selection and outcomes.)

16 Jun

Researchers at The University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle find that virtual reality-based hypnosis reduces pain and anxiety in burn patients, and cuts the need for pain meds in half.
30 Jan

Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford’s Warneford Hospital in the UK, studied people with insomnia and "good sleepers", to see if various ways of managing unwanted thoughts affected sleep quality, anxiety and depression.

Analysis of the data revealed that with the exception of cognitive distraction, the people suffering from insomnia, relative to good sleepers, more frequently used thought control strategies. More specifically, strategies of aggressive suppression and worry appeared to be entirely unhelpful, and in fact, the use of these strategies were predictors of sleep impairment, anxiety and depression.

18 Oct

A pilot study at Virtual Reality Medical Center comparing the effectiveness of Virtual Reality exposure therapy to systematic desensitization with imaginal exposure therapy for treating flying phobia, shows VR wins hands down.

A randomized, controlled, pilot study at the Virtual Reality Medical Center in San Diego, compared the efficacy of virtual reality graded exposure therapy (VRGET) with imaginal exposure therapy for the treatment of fear of flying.

Thirty participants (mean age = 39.8 +/- 9.7) with a confirmed diagnosis of specific phobia fear of flying were randomly assigned to one of three groups: VRGET with no physiological feedback (VRGETno), VRGET with physiological feedback (VRGETpm), or systematic desensitization with imaginal exposure therapy (IET).


10 Oct

Researchers from The College of Pharmacy and School of Nursing at The University of Minnesota evaluated the potential of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance and improved quality of life after solid organ transplantation.

Subjects consisted of 20 kidney, lung, or pancreas transplant recipients, aged 35 to 59 years, living in the community who participated in an MBSR class (2.5 hours weekly, for 8 weeks, plus home practice for 45 minutes, 5 days weekly), modeled after the program of Jon Kabat-Zinn. The outcome measures used were self-report scales for depression (CES-D), anxiety (STAI-Y1), and sleep dysfunction (PSQI).
22 Aug

Investigators from the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at The University of Pennsylvania conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial to see if female survivors of sexual and nonsexual assault the addition of a technique called cognitive restructuring to prolonged exposure therapy would augment the positive cognitive changes produced by treatment.

Fifty-four subjects completed either prolonged exposure alone or in combination with cognitive restructuring in a course of treatment that included 9-12 weekly sessions. Assessment was conducted at pretreatment, posttreatment, and a modal 12-month follow-up.
01 Aug

Researchers at the Occupational Health & Safety Unit at Royal Free Hospital in London conducted a randomized, controlled, clinical trial to evaluate the effect of an 8 week computerized cognitive behavioural therapy programme, ''Beating The Blues'', on emotional distress in employees with recent stress-related absenteeism, and to explore the reasons for non-participation.

Forty-eight public sector employees, with 10 or more cumulative days of stress-related absenteeism in the previous 6 months, were randomized equally to ''Beating The Blues'' plus conventional care, or conventional care alone. The main outcomes, measured at the end of treatment and at one, three and six months post-treatment, were scores from the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Attributional Style Questionnaire.
11 Jul

A clinical trial from researchers at the Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences of Maimonides University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive therapy (CT) in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), as reflected through both psychological and psychoneuroendocrinological measures.

Outpatients with GAD were treated with CT for up to a maximum of 24 sessions. Anxiety-related symptoms were evaluated according to the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function was determined through assessment of circulating cortisol levels.
16 May

A pilot study out of France shows that virtual reality therapy works well for social phobias, but no better than standard, cognitive behavioral therapy.

This unique preliminary study out of Caen, France assesses the efficacy of virtual reality therapy (VRT) for alleviating social phobia, since it has been found helpful for fear of public speaking. Virtual reality therapy was compared to a control condition - group cognitive behavioral therapy - where graded exposure to feared social situations is one of the fundamental therapeutic ingredients.