Guided Imagery and Meditation Blog | Health Journeys

You are here: Home Arthritis Research Cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset arthritis.

Cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset arthritis.

14 Aug

A randomized, controlled British study examined the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for patients with recent onset (less than 2 years), seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. Fifty-three participants with a diagnosis of classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis received routine medical management during the study, but half were randomly allocated to the CBT intervention. All pre- and post-treatment assessments were conducted blind to the allocation. Significant differences were found between the groups at both post-treatment and 6-month follow-up in depressive symptoms. While the CBT group showed a reduction in depressive symptoms, the same symptoms increased in the Standard group. Immediately after treatment (but not at follow-up), the CBT group also showed reduction in C-reactive protein levels. However, the CBT group did show significant improvement in joint involvement at 6-month follow-up, as compared with the Standard group, showing physical improvements above those achieved with standard care. These results indicate that cognitive-behavioral intervention offered as an adjunct to standard clinical management early in the course of RA is efficacious in producing reductions in both psychological and physical morbidity.

Citation: Sharpe L, Sensky T, Timberlake N, Ryan B, Brewin CR, Allard S. A blind, randomized, controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset rheumatoid arthritis: preventing psychological and physical morbidity. Pain 2001 Jan;89(2-3):275-83.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award