Researchers from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston evaluated a group treatment called "Imagery Rescripting and Exposure Therapy" (IRET) for Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic posttraumatic nightmares. (There is a good summary of imagery rescripting tx here.)
IRET is a variant of a successful imagery rescripting treatment for civilian trauma-related nightmares that was modified to address the needs of the Veteran population.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Bundoor, Australia presented the results of a small pilot study (N=19) that examined the efficacy of a 6-week, combined progressive relaxation technique (APRT) and guided imagery (GI) intervention, to help with the management of chronic pain.
Results indicated consistent and clinically significant improvement on pain (measures were the McGill Pain Questionnaire and a visual analog scale), mental health (the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale), all domains of quality of life (the RAND-36 Health Survey), and sleep, for the treatment group only.
Researchers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University conducted a systematic review and critical appraisal of the effect of yoga on stress management in healthy adults.
A systematic literature search was performed to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and clinical controlled trials (CCTs) that assessed the effects of yoga on stress management in healthy adults. Selected studies were classified according to the types of intervention, duration, outcome measures, and results. They were also qualitatively assessed based on Public Health Research, Education and Development standards.
Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, Houston, assessed whether stress management (SM) improved immune outcomes in men undergoing surgery for prostate cancer.
A total of 159 men were assigned randomly to a two-session pre-surgical stress management intervention, a two-session supportive attention (SA) group, or a standard care (SC) group.
Men in the SM group discussed their concerns about the upcoming surgery and were taught diaphragmatic breathing, guided imagery, imaginal exposure to the day of surgery and additionally learned adaptive coping skills.
Men in the SA group discussed their concerns about the upcoming surgery and had a semistructured medical interview.
Researchers from the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada investigated whether combining sertraline (Zoloft) and self-administered cognitive behavior therapy (SCBT) could improve treatment outcomes for panic disorder.
Two hundred fifty-one patients were randomized to 12 weeks of either a placebo drug, a placebo drug plus SCBT, sertraline alone or sertraline plus SCBT. Those who improved after 12 weeks of acute treatment then received treatment for an additional 12 weeks.
Outcome measures evaluate the core Panic Disorder symptoms (panic attacks, anticipatory anxiety, agoraphobic avoidance), dysfunctional ideas (fear of bodily sensations, agoraphobic ideas), disability, and clinical global impression of severity and improvement.
In this population-based, cross-sectional study, researcher-epidemiologists from Walter Reed Army Institute of Research examined the prevalence of depression and PTSD in over 18,000 U.S. Army soldiers (4 Active Component and 2 National Guard infantry brigade combat teams), using several definitions, including functional impairment, as well as the comorbidity of alcohol misuse and aggressive behaviors. Additionally, they compared rates between Active Component and National Guard soldiers at the 3- and 12-month time points following deployment.
Researchers from the OBGYN Department at University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, hypothesizing that adverse birth outcomes can be reduced by relaxation exercises, compared the immediate effects of two active and one passive 10-minute relaxation technique on perceived relaxation and concrete physiological indicators of relaxation in 39 healthy, pregnant women.
The subjects, recruited at the outpatient department of the University Women's Hospital Basel participated in a randomized controlled trial with an experimental repeated measure design.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, investigated the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on working memory capacity (WMC) and affective experience of reservists during their high-stress, pre-deployment phase. They hypothesized that MT may bolster working memory and mitigate the deleterious effects of high stress. (Working memory capacity is used in managing cognitive demands and regulating emotions. High levels of stress may deplete it, leading to cognitive failures and emotional disturbances.)
The study recruited 2 military cohorts during the high-stress pre-deployment interval, and provided MT to 1 group (MT, n = 31) but not the other group (military control group, MC, n = 17). Additionally, the study used another control group of civilians (n = 12) for comparison.
This article doesn’t present research findings, but describes a kind of web-based self-help that has flourished in Australia for some time now, born of necessity, since so many citizens live far from urban centers where most of the “live” mental health services are.
As a result, the Centre for Mental Health Research at Australian National University, in Canberra has developed an e-hub group that delivers automated web interventions (BluePages, MoodGYM, E-Couch and an online bulletin board BlueBoard ) to the public for mental health self-help.