Researchers from the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, examined the efficacy of CAM (complementary and alternative) therapies, including mind-body techniques, acupuncture and physical treatments for tension type headaches.
The investigators noted that while pharmacotherapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and tricyclic antidepressants comprise the traditional treatment of tension-type headaches (TTH), the use of other therapeutic approaches, in combination with medications, can increase the success of treatment.
The assumption was that especially patients with comorbid mood disorders and frequent headaches might benefit from some of these nonpharmacologic approaches.
Belgian researchers from the University Psychiatric Center, KULeuven Campus in Kortenberg investigated the efficacy of a manualized cognitive-behavioral (CBT) approach for patients with obesity and binge eating disorder (BED), on the short and longer term.
Investigators used a prospective study without a control group, consisting of three measurements (a baseline measurement and two follow-up assessments, up to 5 years after the start of the CBT treatment).
A total of 56 patients with obesity and BED (mean age = 39.7 ± 10-9 years; body mass index [BMI] = 38.5 ± 8.3 kg/m (2)) participated in the study.
BMI, number of binges per week, general psychological well-being, mood, attitude toward one's body, and loss of control over the eating behavior were evaluated by means of mixed models.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Southampton in the UK undertook meta-analyses of the efficacy of various non-pharmaceutical interventions for the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) – dietary approaches (restricted elimination diets, artificial food color exclusions, and free fatty acid supplementation) as well as psychological interventions (cognitive training, neurofeedback, and behavioral interventions).
The authors searched electronic databases to identify published, randomized, controlled trials that involved individuals who were diagnosed with ADHD and included an ADHD outcome.
Researchers from the Department of Family and Community Health at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing in Richmond, Virginia, and Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, conducted a feasibility study examining the impact of guided imagery on maternal stress in at risk, hospitalized pregnant women suffering from conditions such as preterm labor, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, premature rupture of membranes, incompetent cervix, multiple gestation, and so forth.
The investigators used a repeated-measures, pre-/posttest design. Mean stress and systolic blood pressure measurements were significantly lower after the intervention, as compared to before listening to the guided imagery CD. Measures were taken on Day one and whatever the last day was – number of days varied and could be from 2 to 10 days.
This study from the Foundation for Epigenetic Medicine in Santa Rosa CA, examined the effect of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a brief exposure therapy combining cognitive and somatic elements, on posttraumatic stress (PTSD) and psychological distress symptoms in veterans receiving mental health services.
Veterans meeting the clinical criteria for PTSD were randomized to either an EFT protocol (n = 30) or standard care/wait list (SOC/WL; n = 29). T he EFT intervention consisted of 6 one hour-long EFT coaching sessions, concurrent with standard care. The two groups were compared before and after the intervention (at 1 month for the SOC/WL group and after six sessions for the EFT group).
The EFT subjects had significantly reduced psychological distress (p < 0.0012) and PTSD symptom levels (p < 0.0001) after. In addition, 90% of the EFT group no longer met PTSD clinical criteria, compared with 4% in the SOC/WL group.
Researchers from the Department of Rheumatology of Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway, reviewed the evidence around the impact of Tai Chi and yoga on the management of rheumatologic and muscular-skeletal diseases, especially osteoarthritis of the knee, hip and hand, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Both these treatments have emerged over the past couple of decades as popular treatments for these conditions.
The researchers found evidence that Tai Chi and yoga are safe, and additional data showing that they have benefit, leading to a reduction of pain and an improvement of physical function and quality of life.
Evaluators from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System assessed the impact of a course of prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy on mental health and medical service utilization and health care service costs.
Data on VA health service utilization and health care costs were obtained from national VA databases for 70 veterans who completed prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy at the VA medical center. Utilization of services and cost data were examined for the year before and after treatment.
Researchers from the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of Cincinnati’s
Academic Medical Center looked at the impact of “mental practice” (the
imaginal rehearsal of physical movements) on affected arm movements in
stroke patients, as well as changes in cortical mapping in the brain.
Mental practice (MP) is a noninvasive, inexpensive method of enabling
repetitive, task-specific practice (RTP) which has been shown in past
studies to increase affected arm use and function significantly more
than just RTP alone.
As a next step, this 10-subject case series examined the possibility
that cortical plasticity is a mechanism underlying the positive
treatment effect from mental practice (MP) when combined with RTP
(repetitive task-specific practice). Ten chronic stroke patients (mean
= 36.7 months) exhibiting stable, moderate motor deficits, received
30-minute therapy sessions for their affected arms 3 days/week for 10
weeks, emphasizing valued activities of daily living (ADLs).
Researchers from the firm of Collinge & Associates in Eugene, Oregon, reported on pilot data from phase I of a project to develop and evaluate a self-directed program of integrative therapies for National Guard personnel and significant others to support reintegration and resilience after return from Iraq or Afghanistan.
Data was reported on 43 couple pairs. The intervention was an integrated multimedia package of guided meditative, contemplative, and relaxation exercises (on CD), and instruction in simple massage techniques (DVD) to promote stress reduction and interpersonal connectedness.
A repeated measures design with standardized instruments was used to establish stability of baseline levels of relevant mental health domains (day 1, day 30), followed by the intervention and assessments 4 and 8 weeks later.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden evaluated the long-term effects of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder. Several trials had demonstrated its effectiveness in the short term, but long term impact was unclear.
This was a 5-year follow-up study of 80 people with SAD who had undergone Internet-based CBT. The assessment comprised a diagnostic interview and self-report questionnaires.
The main outcome measure was the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale-Self-Report (LSAS-SR). Additional measures of social anxiety were the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS) and the Social Phobia Scale (SPS).
Researchers from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol in the UK evaluated the effectiveness of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy for patients with treatment-resistant depression, as compared to usual care.
This two parallel-group, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial recruited 469 patients with treatment resistant depression, between the ages of 18-75 years, from 73 primary care practices. (The criteria being that they were on antidepressants for at least ≥6 weeks, scored ≥14 on the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI] and scored -10 on depression on the ICD – International Classification of Diseases.)
Participants were randomized, with a computer generated code to one of two groups: usual care or CBT in addition to usual care. They were followed for 12 months. Analyses were by intention to treat. The primary outcome was response, defined as at least 50% reduction in depressive symptoms (BDI score) at 6 months compared with baseline.