27 April 2009

Usefulness of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps older adults with anxiety reduce worry, improve mental health
JAMA: 7 April 2009
Older adults with generalized anxiety disorder who received cognitive behavior therapy had greater improvement on measures of worry, depression and mental health than patients who received usual care, according to a study in the April 8 issue of JAMA.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is common in late life, with prevalence up to 7.3 percent in the community and 11.2 percent in primary care. Late-life anxiety predicts increased physical disability, memory difficulties and decreased quality of life, according to background information in the article. Late-life anxiety is usually treated with medication, but associated risks (e.g., falls, hip fractures, memory problems) with some drugs and patient fears of adverse effects limit their usefulness. Two previous studies suggested benefits of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in primary care for late-life GAD, but the studies were small and the conclusions were limited. Older adults most often seek treatment for GAD in primary care. … > full press release

Recommended resource: Change your thinking : positive and practical ways to overcome stress, negative emotions and self-defeating behaviour using CBT

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