Integrative Medicine: Cognitive behavioral therapy

February 4, 2011 By Kay Judge and Maxine Barish-Wreden

We know that the state of the mind has a lot to do with how healthy the body is. An interesting study published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrates the mind-body connection yet again - this time in relationship to heart disease.

The study looked at 362 men and women 75 and younger who had experienced a cardiac event within the past year.

The patients were separated into two groups. One group received traditional care, and the other received traditional care plus cognitive behavioral therapy. Significant results from the study showed the group that received cognitive behavioral therapy had fewer recurrent - a 45 percent reduction in heart attacks compared to the traditional group.

What is cognitive behavioral therapy and how was it applied to this group of patients?

is counseling focused on resolving problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure.

In this study, the CBT focused on stress management, with patients attending 20 two-hour sessions during a year. These sessions were structured around five goals to reduce stress: education, self-monitoring, skills training, cognitive restructuring and spiritual development.

Participants were taught how to bring this new method of behavior and coping to reduce stress and hostility in their daily lives.

As a result of this stress reduction through CBT, there was a significant reduction in heart attacks. Furthermore, the more sessions the participants attended, the better the results.

So, one might think, this proves that a reduction of depression leads to fewer cardiovascular events.

Yes and no.

A study done almost 10 years ago showed that patients on antidepressants did no better than those not on after a .

Perhaps healing is not just correcting a chemical imbalance in the brain, but incorporating positive thoughts and behavior patterns in the healing process. Our bodies are, in the end, a product of what and how we think.

shares

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Curcumin improves memory and mood, study says

January 23, 2018
Lovers of Indian food, give yourselves a second helping: Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin—the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color—improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related ...

Short-course treatment for combat-related PTSD offers expedited path to recovery

January 23, 2018
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be debilitating and standard treatment can take months, often leaving those affected unable to work or care for their families. But, a new study demonstrated that many ...

Priming can negate stressful aspects of negative sporting environments, study finds

January 23, 2018
The scene is ubiquitous in sports: A coach yells at players, creating an environment where winning is the sole focus and mistakes are punished. New research from the University of Kansas shows that when participants find ...

Social and emotional skills linked to better student learning

January 23, 2018
Students with well-developed and adaptive social and emotional behaviours are most likely to excel in school, according to UNSW researchers in educational psychology.

Study of learning and memory problems in OCD helps young people unlock potential at school

January 22, 2018
Adolescents with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have widespread learning and memory problems, according to research published today. The findings have already been used to assist adolescents with OCD obtain the help ...

People with prosthetic arms less affected by common illusion

January 22, 2018
People with prosthetic arms or hands do not experience the "size-weight illusion" as strongly as other people, new research shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.