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23 Apr

Researchers from the University of Greenwich, London, UK investigated whether hypnosis plus Virtual Reality (VR) performed more effectively than hypnosis alone.

Thirty-five healthy participants were randomized to self-hypnosis with VR imagery, standard self-hypnosis, or relaxation interventions. Changes in sleep, cortisol levels, and mood were examined.

16 Apr

Researchers from the Santa Lucia Foundation IRCCS and Tor Vergata University in Rome, Italy, evaluated the impact of progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and phantom exercises on phantom pain in 51 subjects with unilateral lower limb amputation who experienced phantom limb pain (PLP) and/or phantom limb sensation (PLS).

The randomized controlled prospective trial was conducted on the amputee unit of a rehabilitation hospital, using 2 parallel groups.

The experimental group received combined training of progressive muscle relaxation and mental imagery, and phantom exercises 2 times/wk for 4 weeks, while the control group had the same amount of physical therapy dedicated to the residual limb. No pharmacological intervention was initiated during the trial period.

09 Apr

Researchers from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, looked at the impact of guided imagery on postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing same-day surgical procedures.

Forty-four adults scheduled for head and neck procedures were randomly assigned to 2 groups for this single-blind investigation.

Anxiety and baseline pain levels were documented pre-operatively. Both groups received 28 minutes of privacy, during which subjects in the experimental group listened to a guided imagery compact disk (CD), but control group patients received no intervention.

02 Apr

Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, compared the effectiveness of two different interventions for distressed survivors of breast cancer – group mindfulness meditation training with yoga vs. supportive-expressive group therapy.

This multisite, randomized controlled trial assigned 271 distressed survivors of stage I to III breast cancer to either a Mindfulness Based Cancer Recovery group (MBCR), a Supportive-Expressive Therapy Group (SET), or a 1-day stress management control condition.

MBCR focused on training in mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga, whereas SET focused on emotional expression and group support. Both intervention groups included 18 hours of professional contact.

26 Mar

Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine performed a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of computerized CBT (cCBT) for anxiety disorders and the durability of treatment gains during follow-up.

They included randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of cCBT for non-OCD and non-PTSD anxiety disorders, resulting in 40 trials involving 2,648 participants.

Computerized CBT was compared to wait-list, in-person CBT, and Internet control. They also examined moderators of cCBT treatment gains over follow-up.

19 Mar

Researchers from Duke University, Loma Linda University, the University of Maryland, University College in London and King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia examined the relationships between religiosity, depressive symptoms, and positive emotions in people with major depression and chronic illness.

Investigators recruited 129 people who were at least somewhat religious/spiritual into a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of religious vs. secular cognitive behavioral therapy. They used standard measures to assess at baseline the relationships between religious involvement and depressive symptoms, purpose in life, optimism, generosity, and gratefulness using standard measures.

12 Mar

Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada looked at the impact of mindfulness-based cancer recovery (MBCR) training, as well as supportive-expressive group therapy, on telomere length in breast cancer survivors. Telomere length is associated with longevity and has been found to be a predictive element in breast cancer prognosis.

The MBCR focused on training in mindfulness meditation and gentle Hatha yoga, whereas SET focused on emotional expression and group support.

The primary outcome measure was relative telomere length, the telomere/single-copy gene ratio, assessed before and after each intervention. Secondary outcomes were self-reported mood and stress symptoms.

05 Mar

In this pilot study, researchers from the University of Montreal investigated the impact of a guided imagery intervention on post-op pain intensity, anxiety, coping and daily activities in adolescents and young adults, ages 11-20, after undergoing orthopedic surgery (spinal fusion) for idiopathic scoliosis.

Participants were randomized to standard care or standard care with the guided imagery intervention. The intervention consisted of a DVD with information and guided imagery/relaxation exercises to practice at least three times a week at home.

A nurse screened the DVD with the patient pre-operatively and at discharge (T1) and telephoned 2 weeks post-discharge (T2) to reinforce the use of the technique.

26 Feb

Belgian researchers from the University of Antwerp, the University of Brussels and Artevelde University, Ghent, performed a review of studies investigating the effects of different kinds of relaxation therapy on autonomic function, pain, fatigue and daily functioning of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.

The electronic databases PubMed and Web of Science were searched. Studies were assessed for their risk of bias and relevant information regarding relaxation was extracted.

Thirteen randomized clinical trials of sufficient quality were included, resulting in a total of 650 fibromyalgia patients (11 studies) and 88 chronic fatigue syndrome patients (3 studies).

19 Feb

Researchers from the Departments of Neurology and Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine, examined the neural correlates of motor imagery when used in conjunction with movement of the paretic arm after stroke. Subjects were 7 patients in the chronic phase of stroke recovery (median (range): age: 58 years (37-73); time post-stroke: 9 months (4-42); upper extremity Fugl-Meyer motor score: 48 (36-64)).

Participants actively moved the paretic/right arm under two conditions while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. In the motor condition, pronation/supination movements were made in response to a visual cue. In the motor + imagery condition, the same movements were performed in response to a visual cue but the participants were instructed to imagine opening and closing a doorknob during performance of the movement.