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Monthly Archives: November 1999

  1. Eye movement desensitization in fibromyalgia: a pilot study.

    Dr. Fred Friedberg of SUNY at Stony Brook, found 2 sessions of EMDR to be helpful for most fibromyalgia patients suffering from anxiety, depression, fatigue and distress in a small pilot study.

    Dr. Fred Friedberg from the Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science at State University of New York at Stony Brook investigated the effectiveness of EMDR (eye movement desensitization & reprocessing) for relieving the symptoms and side effects of fibromyalgia in a pilot study with 6 female patients (mean age of 43).

    Subjects were given two treatment sessions of EMDR, and were assessed with the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Fatigue Scale, Beck Anxiety Inventory, and Beck Depression Inventory. In addition, thermal biofeedback monitoring and subjective units of discomfort ratings of pain, stress, and fatigue were measured during the sessions.

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  2. Fluoxetine, comprehensive cognitive behavioral therapy, and placebo in generalized social phobia.

    In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial in a multicenter study, researchers from The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center compared the effects of fluoxetine (Prozac), with cognitive behavioral therapy in alleviating generalized social phobia.

    This study compared fluoxetine (FLU), comprehensive cognitive behavioral group therapy (CCBT), placebo (PBO), and the combinations of CCBT/FLU and CCBT/PBO. Seven hundred twenty-two people with social phobia were screened, and 295 were randomized for the 14-week treatments in each condition. Fluoxetine and PBO were administered at doses from 10 mg/d to 60 mg/d (or equivalent), and group comprehensive cognitive behavioral therapy was administered weekly for 14 sessions.
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  3. Impact of transcendental meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African-American adolescents.

    Investigators from The Medical College of Georgia find that Transcendental Meditation lowers blood pressure in sixteen-year-old African American youth at risk for the development of hypertension.

    Investigators from the Pediatric Department of The Georgia Institute for Prevention of Human Diseases and Accidents and The Medical College of Georgia looked at the impact of stress reduction, by way of Transcendental Meditation (TM), on blood pressure (BP) in African-American adolescents averaging 16 years old (aged 16.2 +/- 1.3 years) with high normal systolic BP. Subjects were randomly assigned to either a 4-month TM group (n = 50) or health education control group (n = 50). Ambulatory 24-hour blood pressure measures were recorded at pretest, 2-month and 4-month post-tests, and at a 4-month follow-up.

    The study found significantly greater decreases in daytime systolic BP (P < .04) and diastolic BP (P < .06) in the TM group, as compared with the control group, across all the visits, concluding that TM has a beneficial impact on youth at risk for the development of hypertension.

    Citation: Barnes VA, Treiber FA, Johnson MH. Impact of transcendental meditation on ambulatory blood pressure in African-American adolescents. American Journal of Hypertension. 2004 Apr; 17(4): pages 366-9. [email protected]

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  4. Six-year outcome of cognitive behavior therapy for prevention of recurrent depression.

    A study at the University of Bologna suggests that using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy allows a significant proportion of people with recurrent depression to withdraw from medication successfully and to stay well for at least 6 years.

    Researchers from the Department of Psychology at The University of Bologna, in multi-center, randomized, controlled clinical trials, looked at the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy for replacing medication at reducing recurrence in depression. Cognitive behavior treatment had been found earlier to yield a significantly lower relapse rate than clinical management in recurrent depression at a 2-year follow-up. This study looked at a 6-year follow-up of cognitive behavior treatment versus clinical management.

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  5. Treatment for Adolescents With Depression Study (TADS) Team. Fluoxetine,

    Adolescents suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) do well with a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Prozac, in a randomized, controlled, multicenter, partially blinded study at Duke University Medical Center.

    This multi-center, controlled, randomized, partially blinded study out of Duke University compares the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine (Prozac) and their combination for 439 adolescents between 12 and 17 years old suffering from major depressive disorder.

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  6. The use of guided imagery to manage pain in an elderly orthopaedic population.

    Two fabulous research nurses, right down the street, from Case Western Reserve’s graduate school of nursing, completed a pilot study showing that imagery helps with pain control for elderly patients who have undergone joint replacement..

    In this pilot study, two nurses from The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University explored the efficacy of guided imagery for the management of postoperative pain in elderly orthopaedic patients who underwent joint replacement. Pain control is of course critical, so that physical therapy can proceed in a timely way, and risk of complications can be kept to a minimum. At the same time, there is concern about adverse side effects of pain meds, such as confusion and sedation. This makes the use of guided imagery particularly attractive as an intervention to control pain for this population.

    This pilot study used a two-group experimental repeated measures design. A sample of 13 patients, age 55 years and older, were recruited. The control group received usual care and a music audio tape. The experimental group received usual care and a guided imagery audio tape intervention.

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  7. Current Mind-body interventions for vascular complications of diabetes.

    Reviewers from the University of Virginia conclude that thermal biofeedback can improve peripheral circulation, pain, neuropathy, ulcer healing, ambulatory activity, and quality of life in people with diabetes mellitus with impaired blood flow to the limbs.

    Researchers from The Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies at The University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville reviewed studies of thermal biofeedback as an intervention designed to help people with diabetes mellitus with the impaired peripheral blood flow that often occurs with this condition, causing complications, lower-extremity pain, reduced functional status, and impaired quality of life.

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  8. Comparing the effects of physical practice and mental imagery rehearsal on learning basic surgical s

    Researchers from the Department of OBGYN at Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center tested the effects of varying the amount of physical practice vs. mental imagery rehearsal for training medical students to perform basic surgical procedures.

    Using a sample of 65 second-year medical students, 3 randomized groups received either: (1) 3 sessions of physical practice on suturing a pig''s foot; (2) 2 sessions of physical practice and 1 session of mental imagery rehearsal; or (3) 1 session of physical practice and 2 sessions of imagery rehearsal.
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  9. Mental relaxation improves long-term incidental visual memory.

    Researchers at University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, find that a single session with a 20-minute relaxation audio can significantly improve long-term, visual memory and help to further consolidate and enhance those memories over time..

    Researchers at University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, studied the effects of a single session of relaxation training on incidental visual long-term memory. Thirty-two subjects, new to relaxation training, viewed 280 slides without being told that there would be subsequent memory testing. Afterwards, they listened to a 12 minute relaxation tape - sixteen subjects relaxed by following the instructions (relaxation group), and the other 16 subjects pressed a button whenever a body part was mentioned (control group). While listening to the relaxation tape, high frequency heart rate variability (HRV) was greater and low frequency HRV was lower in the relaxation group, implying effective relaxation and increasing parasympathetic activation.

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  10. Critique of claims of improved visual acuity after hypnotic suggestion.

    Analysts at the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Unit of the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and The New York State Psychiatric Institute reviewed various studies of the effectiveness of hypnosis for improving myopia, as an enticing alternative to invasive procedures and corrective lenses. The meta-analysis delineated various shortcomings in the studies, including potential methodological caveats, problems with experimental controls, and controversial data interpretation.
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