Cognitive therapy helps reduce anxiety in COPD patients

(HealthDay)—Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) delivered by respiratory nurses is associated with reduced anxiety symptoms and is cost-effective for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study recently published in ERJ Open Research.

Karen Heslop-Marshall, Ph.D., from Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 279 patients with COPD and anxiety to CBT or self-help leaflets. The authors measured anxiety, depression, and quality of life at baseline and at three, six, and 12 months.

The researchers found that the group mean change from baseline to three months in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Anxiety Subscale was 3.4 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 2.62 to 4.17) in the CBT group and 1.88 (95 percent CI, 1.19 to 2.55) in the leaflet group (mean difference of 1.52; 95 percent CI, 0.49 to 2.54). At 12 months, the CBT intervention was more cost-effective than leaflets and reduced hospital admissions and attendance at emergency departments.

“This study shows that a brief CBT intervention, uniquely delivered by respiratory nurses, was clinically effective at reducing anxiety symptoms and was cost-effective,” the authors write. “CBT should be incorporated into routine clinical care pathways.”

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