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Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and the Use of Mind-body Therapies
July 27, 2013 -
Neuropsychiatric symptoms affect 37% of US adults and present in many important diagnoses including posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain. However, these symptoms are difficult to treat with standard treatments, and patients may seek alternative options. In this study, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network in Boston examined the use of mind-body therapies by adults with neuropsychiatric symptoms.

METHOD: The researchers compared mind-body therapy use (biofeedback, energy healing, meditation, guided imagery, yoga, deep-breathing exercises, hypnosis, progressive relaxation therapy, Qigong, and Tai Chi) between adults with and without neuropsychiatric symptoms (anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, memory deficits, attention deficits, and excessive daytime sleepiness) in the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. Use of more than one of these therapies in the prior 12 months was the primary outcome of interest. The researchers also examined prevalence and reasons for mind-body therapy use in adults with neuropsychiatric symptoms. The researchers performed logistic regression to examine the association between neuropsychiatric symptoms and mind-body therapy use to adjust for sociodemographic and clinical factors.

RESULTS: Adults with more than one neuropsychiatric symptom used mind-body therapies more than adults without symptoms. Prevalence increased with increasing number of symptoms; differences persisted after adjustment for potential confounders. Reasons for mind-body therapy use among adults with more than one symptom included the ineffectiveness or expense of conventional medicine. Most adults (nearly 70%) with more than one symptom did not discuss their mind-body therapy use with a conventional provider.

CONCLUSIONS: Adults with more than one neuropsychiatric symptom use mind-body therapies frequently; more symptoms are associated with increased use. Future research is needed to understand the efficacy of these therapies.

The study is published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of clinical psychiatry.




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