Dr. Aaron Beck Receives Changing Minds Award

Congratulations to Dr. Aaron Beck who received the Changing Minds Award at the Minding Your Mind Annual Blue Gene Gala, in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania on October 19, 2014. Dr. Beck received this award for his lifetime achievement in psychiatry. During his acceptance speech, Dr. Beck discussed the influence of catastrophizing across all of the psychological disorders. He described how catastrophizing was adaptive in the wild, and that individuals with the “catastrophizing gene” were at the top of the evolutionary ladder. His message was to de-stigmatize mental illness and to show the positive aspects of some symptoms in an evolutionary sense.

Dr. Judith Beck, a featured speaker for this event, provided the Keynote address. Dr. Beck talked about ways to reduce stigma, first, by providing a rationale for labeling both mental illness and physical illness as just “illness. ” Second, she discussed how people with mental illness need help to de-stigmatize themselves by evaluating their self-critical thoughts, especially those that interfere with seeking treatment. Dr. Beck also talked about Cognitive Behavior Therapy and noted the overwhelming amount of research that demonstrates its effectiveness for a large number of problems. Dr. Beck described what a typical therapy session is like and how it leads to improvement. She concluded with why we should all have hope for people with mental illness—because good therapy can help them get better and stay better. Dr. Judith Beck was also presented with a plaque in recognition of her advances in the field.

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Internet-based, CBT Stress Management Workbook for Breast Cancer Patients

Cognitive behavioral stress management groups have been shown to be decrease psychological symptoms and increase adaptive coping in breast cancer patients, but dissemination of this effective intervention has been challenging. The goal of the present project was to develop an online cognitive behavioral stress management intervention for early stage breast cancer survivors and evaluate its effectiveness using a 2 group × 3 time randomized, waitlist-controlled design. Intervention and waitlist control group participants were assessed at three time points: at baseline; at 10 weeks, after which only intervention participants had used the workbook; and at 20 weeks, after which both groups had used the workbook. Results indicate that at 10 weeks intervention participants showed improved self-efficacy for coping with their cancer and for regulating negative mood and lower levels of cancer-related post-traumatic symptoms as compared to the control group, suggesting that an internet stress management intervention could be effective for helping breast cancer patients increase their confidence in their ability to cope with stress.

Carpenter, K. M., Stoner, S. A., Schmitz, K., McGregor, B. A., & Doorenbos, A. Z. (2014). An online stress management workbook for breast cancer. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 37, 3, 458-468.

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Internet-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy is Effective for Severe Health Anxiety

OBJECTIVE: A sudden gain is defined as a large and stable individual improvement occurring between two consecutive treatment sessions. Sudden gains have been shown to predict better long-term improvement in several treatment studies, including cognitive behavioural therapy for depression and anxiety disorders, but have not been studied in the treatment of health anxiety or any form of internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of sudden gains in internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy for severe health anxiety.

METHOD: We examined the occurrence and significance of sudden gains in measures of health anxiety in 81 participants receiving internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy. We compared patients with sudden gains, patients without sudden gains, and patients with gradual gains.

RESULTS: Thirteen participants (16%) experienced one sudden gain in health anxiety with individual sudden gains distributed across the treatment. As expected, patients with a sudden gain showed larger improvements than patients without a sudden gain at post-treatment (d = 1.04) and at one-year follow-up (d = 0.91) on measures of health anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with previous studies, sudden gains in internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy are associated with significantly larger and stable treatment effects up to one-year follow-up.

Hedman, E., Lekander, M., Ljotsson, B., Lindefors, N., Ru?ck, C., Hofmann, S. G., Andersson, E., … Schulz, S. M. (January 01, 2014). Sudden gains in internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy for severe health anxiety. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 54, 22-9.

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Cognitive Therapy plus Medication is More Effective than Medication Alone in the Treatment of Depression

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of combining cognitive therapy (CT) with ADM vs ADM alone on remission and recovery in major depressive disorder (MDD).

METHOD: A total of 452 adult outpatients with chronic or recurrent MDD participated in a trial conducted in research clinics at 3 university medical centers in the United States. The patients were randomly assigned to ADM treatment alone or CT combined with ADM treatment. Treatment was continued for up to 42 months until recovery was achieved.

RESULTS: Combined treatment enhanced the rate of recovery vs treatment with ADM alone (72.6% vs 62.5%; t451?=?2.45; P?=?.01; hazard ratio [HR], 1.33; 95% CI, 1.06-1.68; number needed to treat [NNT], 10; 95% CI, 5-72). This effect was conditioned on interactions with severity (t451?=?1.97; P?=?.05; NNT,?5) and chronicity (?2?=?7.46; P?=?.02; NNT,?6) such that the advantage for combined treatment was limited to patients with severe, nonchronic MDD (81.3% vs 51.7%; n?=?146; t145 = 3.96; P?=?.001; HR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.54-3.57; NNT, 3; 95% CI, 2-5). Fewer patients dropped out of combined treatment vs ADM treatment alone (18.9% vs 26.8%; t451?=?-2.04; P?=?.04; HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.45-0.98). Remission rates did not differ significantly either as a main effect of treatment or as an interaction with severity or chronicity. Patients with comorbid Axis II disorders took longer to recover than did patients without comorbid Axis II disorders regardless of the condition (P?=?.01). Patients who received combined treatment reported fewer serious adverse events than did patients who received ADMs alone (49 vs 71; P?=?.02), largely because they experienced less time in an MDD episode.

CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive therapy combined with ADM treatment enhances the rates of recovery from MDD relative to ADMs alone, with the effect limited to patients with severe, nonchronic depression.

Hollon S.D., DeRubeis R.J., Fawcett J., et al. Effect of Cognitive Therapy With Antidepressant Medications vs Antidepressants Alone on the Rate of Recovery in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online August 20, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1054.

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Telephone-administered CBT Versus Face-to-Face CBT for Depressed Patients with Co-occurring Problematic Alcohol Use in Primary Care

This secondary analysis of a larger study compared adherence to telephone-administered cognitive-behavioral therapy (T-CBT) vs. face-to-face CBT and depression outcomes in depressed primary care patients with co-occurring problematic alcohol use. To our knowledge, T-CBT has never been directly compared to face-to-face CBT in such a sample of primary care patients. Participants were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to face-to-face CBT or T-CBT for depression. Participants receiving T-CBT (n = 50) and face-to-face CBT (n = 53) were compared at baseline, end of treatment (week 18), and three-month and six-month follow-ups. Face-to-face CBT and T-CBT groups did not significantly differ in age, sex, ethnicity, marital status, educational level, severity of depression, antidepressant use, and total score on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Face-to-face CBT and T-CBT groups were similar on all treatment adherence outcomes and depression outcomes at all time points. T-CBT and face-to-face CBT had similar treatment adherence and efficacy for the treatment of depression in depressed primary care patients with co-occurring problematic alcohol use. When targeting patients who might have difficulties in accessing care, primary care clinicians may consider both types of CBT delivery when treating depression in patients with co-occurring problematic alcohol use.

Kalapatapu, R. K., Ho, J., Cai, X., Vinogradov, S., Batki, S. L., & Mohr, D. C. (2014). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Depressed Primary Care Patients with Co-Occurring Problematic Alcohol Use: Effect of Telephone-Administered vs. Face-to-Face Treatment-A Secondary Analysis. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 46, 2, 85-92.

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CBT Alleviates Treatment-Induced Menopausal Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients

OBJECTIVE:Many breast cancer patients experience (severe) menopausal symptoms after an early onset of menopause caused by cancer treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and physical exercise (PE), compared to a waiting list control                          group (WLC).

METHODS: We performed a cost-effectiveness analysis from a healthcare system perspective, using a Markov model. Effectiveness data came from a recent randomized controlled trial that evaluated the efficacy of CBT and PE. Cost data were obtained from relevant Dutch sources. Outcome measures were incremental treatment costs (ITCs) per patient with a clinically relevant improvement on a measure of endocrine symptoms, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy questionnaire (FACT-ES), and on a measure of hot flushes, the Hot Flush Rating Scale (HFRS), and costs per quality-adjusted life years (QALY) gained over a 5-year time period.

RESULTS: ITCs for achieving a clinically relevant decline on the FACT-ES for one patient were 1,051 for CBT and 1,315 for PE, compared to the WLC. The corresponding value for the HFRS was 1,067 for CBT, while PE was not more effective than the WLC. Incremental cost-utility ratios were 22,502/QALY for CBT and 28,078/QALY for PE.

CONCLUSION: CBT is likely the most cost-effective strategy for alleviating treatment-induced menopausal symptoms in this population, followed by PE. The outcomes are sensitive to a reduction of the assumed duration of the treatment effect from 5 to 3 and 1.5 years.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: Patients can be prescribed CBT or, based on individual preferences, PE.

Mewes, J. C., Steuten, L. M. G., Duijts, S. F. A., Oldenburg, H. S. S., Van, B. M., Stuiver, M. M., Hunter, M. S., … Aaronson, N. K. (2014). Cost-Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Physical Exercise for Alleviating Treatment-Induced Menopausal Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients. Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice. Epub ahead of print.

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Preexposure Prophylaxis Adherence Intervention in HIV-Serodiscordant Couples in Uganda

OBJECTIVE: Daily preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an effective HIV prevention strategy, but adherence is required for maximum benefit. To date, there are no empirically supported PrEP adherence interventions. This article describes the process of developing a PrEP adherence intervention and presents results on its impact on adherence.

METHODS: The Partners PrEP Study was a placebo-controlled efficacy trial of daily oral tenofovir and emtricitabine/tenofovir PrEP among uninfected members of HIV-serodiscordant couples. An ancillary adherence study was conducted at 3 study sites in Uganda. Participants with <80% adherence as measured by unannounced pill count received an additional adherence counseling intervention based on Lifesteps, an evidence-based HIV treatment adherence intervention, based on principles of cognitive-behavioral theory.

FINDINGS: Of the 1147 HIV-seronegative participants enrolled in the ancillary adherence study, 168 (14.6%) triggered the adherence intervention. Of participants triggering the intervention, 62% were men; median age was 32.5 years. The median number of adherence counseling sessions was 10. Mean adherence during the month before the intervention was 75.7% and increased significantly to 84.1% in the month after the first intervention session (P < 0.001). The most frequently endorsed adherence barriers at session 1 were travel and forgetting.

INTERPRETATION: A PrEP adherence intervention was feasible in a clinical trial of PrEP in Uganda and PrEP adherence increased after the intervention. Future research should identify PrEP users with low adherence for enhanced adherence counseling and determine optimal implementation strategies for interventions to maximize PrEP effectiveness.

Psaros, C., Haberer, J. E., Katabira, E., Ronald, A., Tumwesigye, E., Campbell, J. D., Wangisi, J., … Safren, S. A. (January 01, 2014). An Intervention to Support HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis Adherence in HIV-Serodiscordant Couples in Uganda. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (1999), 66, 5, 522-9.

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Specific Phobia Versus Panic Disorder in CBT

In this video from a recent Beck Institute workshop, Dr. Judith Beck and Dr. Aaron Beck describe the important distinction between specific phobia and panic disorder. Dr. Aaron Beck then provides an example illustrating a safety behavior utilized by a panic disorder patient.

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Internet-Based CBT is Effective for Panic Disorder

OBJECTIVE: Guided Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) for panic disorder has been shown to be efficacious in several randomized controlled trials. However, the effectiveness of the treatment when delivered within routine psychiatric care has not been studied. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of ICBT for panic disorder within the context of routine psychiatric care.

METHOD: We conducted a cohort study investigating all patients (n = 570) who had received guided ICBT for panic disorder between 2007 and 2012 in a routine care setting at an out-patient psychiatric clinic providing Internet-based treatment. The primary outcome measure was the Panic Disorder Severity Scale-Self-report (PDSS-SR).

RESULTS: Participants made large improvements from screening and pretreatment assessments to posttreatment (Cohen’s d range on the PDSS-SR = 1.07-1.55). Improvements were sustained at 6-month follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that ICBT for panic disorder is as effective when delivered in a routine care context as in the previously published randomized controlled trials.

Hedman, E., Ljo?tsson, B., Ru?ck, C., Bergstro?m, J., Andersson, G., Kaldo, V., Jansson, L., … Lindefors, N. (January 01, 2013). Effectiveness of internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy for panic disorder in routine psychiatric care. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 128, 6, 457-67.

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Group CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

OBJECTIVE: A few meta-analyses have examined psychological treatments for a social anxiety disorder (SAD). This is the first meta-analysis that examines the effects of cognitive behavioural group therapies (CBGT) for SAD compared to control on symptoms of anxiety.

METHOD: After a systematic literature search in PubMed, Cochrane, PsychINFO and Embase was conducted; eleven studies were identified that met the inclusion criteria. The studies had to be randomized controlled studies in which individuals with a diagnosed SAD were treated with cognitive-behavioural group therapy (CBGT) and compared with a control group. The overall quality of the studies was moderate.

RESULTS: The pooled effect size indicated that the difference between intervention and control conditions was 0.53 (96% CI: 0.33-0.73), in favour of the intervention. This corresponds to a NNT 3.24. Heterogeneity was low to moderately high in all analyses. There was some indication of publication bias.

CONCLUSIONS: It was found that psychological group-treatments CBGT are more effective than control conditions in patients with SAD. Since heterogeneity between studies was high, more research comparing group psychotherapies for SAD to control is needed.

Wersebe, H., Sijbrandij, M., & Cuijpers, P. (January 01, 2013). Psychological group-treatments of social anxiety disorder: a meta-analysis. Plos One, 8, 11.)

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