Researchers from the Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior at Kyoto University Graduate School of Public Health in Japan investigated differences in relaxation induced by guided imagery in healthy community samples.
One hundred forty-eight people took part in the study, with the mean
age of the 50 males and 98 females 39.36 +/- 11.86 years. Saliva
samples were taken to measure salivary cortisol (SC) before the first
session, after the first session, and after the second session. In
addition, subjects were asked to complete the short form of the
Multiple Mood Scale (MMS) questionnaire before the first session and
after the second session. The shortened form of Betts'' Questionnaire
upon Mental Imagery (QMI) was collected once before the first session,
and vividness of the imagery was measured using a visual analogue scale
once after the second session.
Psychologists from UCLA compared outcomes from adding cognitive
behavioral therapy (CBT) to medications for the treatment of panic
disorder, as compared to using medications alone.
Primary-care patients with panic disorder reported on their receipt of
CBT and medications over the 3 months following a baseline assessment.
The degree to which outcomes for those who used anti-panic medications
were enhanced by the receipt of at least one component of CBT was
analyzed (using a propensity score model that took into account
observable baseline patient characteristics influencing both treatment
selection and outcomes.)
A group of Japanese public health researchers from Kyoto University
investigated the effects of autogenic training on firefighters with and
without posttraumatic stress. Twenty-two male firefighters were in this
pilot study - ten with PTSD and 12 without. They all were given
autogenic training two or three times a week for two months. Heart rate
variability was measured, and a Japanese language version of the IES
(Impact of Events) Scale - a commonly used PTSD measure - was also
Hungarian researchers find that the popular European technique of Autogenic Training is helpful in all three kinds of headache: migraine, tension, and a combination of the two.
Hungarian researchers investigated the effects of auto-suggestion,
using cognitive and symbol therapy elements with auto-suggestion, on
three kinds of headache (migraine, tension and combined). The
assumption was that since headache is prolonged and exacerbated by
depression and anxiety, and these conditions are ameliorated by
autosuggestion, that this technique could be valuable for relieving
headache for multiple reasons.
Twenty five female patients with migraine, tension-type headache or
mixed headache participated in an eight-month follow-up study. Headache
frequency, analgesic, antimigraine and anxiolytic drug consumption were
measured by means of a headache diary.
Another new study, this one using neuro-imaging out of the University of Montreal, shows that neurofeedback is very likely highly effective in helping children with attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) disorder.
Given the fact that neuroimaging studies show abnormal functioning of
the anterior cingulate cortex in those with ADHD (attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder) during tasks involving selective attention,
researchers at the University of Montreal conducted a randomized,
controlled pilot study to examine whether neurofeedback training (NFT)
could significantly improve cognitive functioning in children with
They devised a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study to
measure the effect of NFT on the neural substrates of selective
attention in children with AD/HD. Twenty AD/HD children, who were not
taking any psychostimulant drugs participated to the study.
A recent review of the research literature offers a favorable comparison of a technique called neurofeedback (or EEG biofeedback, as it is sometimes called) with drugs, for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder..
A review and meta-analysis of 14 studies of biofeedback for TMJ by researchers at Williams College show that surface electromyographic (SEMG) training of the chewing muscles is indeed efficacious in reducing this condition..
In a meta-analysis, investigators at the University of Jena in
Germany looked at the efficacy of cognitive behavioral (CBT) and
pharmacological therapy for panic disorder. After a comprehensive
review of the literature, the results of 124 studies were included.
CBT was found to be more effective than a no-treatment control and a
placebo control. No difference of efficacy was found when using
cognitive elements compared to not using them for anxiety; for
associated depressive symptoms, additional cognitive elements seems
Researchers from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford’s Warneford Hospital
in the UK, studied people with insomnia and "good sleepers", to see if
various ways of managing unwanted thoughts affected sleep quality,
anxiety and depression.
Analysis of the data revealed that with the exception of cognitive
distraction, the people suffering from insomnia, relative to good
sleepers, more frequently used thought control strategies. More
specifically, strategies of aggressive suppression and worry appeared
to be entirely unhelpful, and in fact, the use of these strategies were
predictors of sleep impairment, anxiety and depression.
Researchers at the Phyllis F. Cantor Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
and U. Mass/Boston, interested in exploring the potential effectiveness
of mindfulness meditation (MM) for patients undergoing bone marrow
transplant, took an unusual first step. They conducted a series of
guided interviews with nineteen patients undergoing stem
cell/autologous bone marrow transplant (SC/ABMT).
Audiotapes of these interview sessions were then transcribed and used
to create a a QRS NVivo software program to manage the data from the
interview questions. Responses about what the participants liked and
disliked and their suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the
MM intervention were identified and grouped.
Researchers at the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, find in a pilot study with 20 elderly subjects that 6 weeks of imagery training improves postural stability..
Researchers at the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa
in Ontario, Canada, studied the effectiveness of imagery on improving
static balance in the elderly. This study evaluated the efficiency of a
guided imagery protocol, aimed at improving static balance by reducing
postural oscillations and attentional demands in 20 subjects, aged
65-90 years old.
Subjects were divided into 2 groups - 12 in the intervention group and
8 in the control group. The imagery group underwent daily training for
a period of 6 weeks. Measurements were taken of postural oscillations –
front to back and side to side - as well as reaction times during a
double-task assignment. In addition, they were assessed by the Berg
Balance Scale, Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale, and VMIQ
questionnaire, both pre- and post intervention.