Could Telephone Therapy Help COPD Patients With Depression and Anxiety?

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by Wendy Henderson |

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As with all chronic illnesses, people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more at risk of developing depression or anxiety as they cope with living with the condition.

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According to a report in the Medical News Bulletin, many COPD patients find it difficult to attend psychotherapy so could therefore benefit from telephone-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

An Australian-based study of 110 COPD patients looked at the impact of CBT versus befriending treatment. The group was split into two with half undergoing eight weeks of telephone-administered CBT and the others undergoing the telephone-administered befriending treatment.

The CBT treatment including teaching the patient behavior strategies and social skill training, whereas the befriending focused on small talk which didn’t include details of their illness.

Although both groups reported improvement in depression, the patients who underwent the telephone-based CBT group still showed significant improvement after an eight-week follow-up. However, anxiety improved more for those in the befriending treatment group, showing that a phone-based therapy consisting of a mixture of CBT and befriending could be a solution for COPD patients.

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