Published on 28/06/2012
Talking therapies could ease the pain of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, according to a new study.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks the cells that line the joints making them swollen, stiff and painful. Over time this can damage the joint, cartilage and nearby bone.
The aim of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is to reduce inflammation in the joints, relieve pain and reduce disability, which can involve lifestyle changes and medication.
But Louise Sharpe from the University of Sydney has found that cognitive therapy could also help sufferers manage their pain.
104 rheumatoid arthritis patients took part in a study in which Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) was compared with its separate components of cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy.
Patients were analysed at the start of the study, post treatment and six months on for disease activity, joint function, disability and psychological functioning.
Writing in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the researchers found that cognitive therapy was an effective treatment for arthritis. It works by helping people learn to control their symptoms. Behavioural therapy was not necessarily needed.
Clare Jacklin, of the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, said the organisation 'welcomes psychological intervention for people living with rheumatoid arthritis'.
If you want to be covered for cognitive behavioural therapy on your health insurance then look for a policy with psychiatric cover.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012Categories: Medical