Cognitive Therapy May Ease Seniors’ Anxiety

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Sometimes more of the same is not the most beneficial route to change. Clinical models for change are most effective when tailored to the needs of specific client populations; a study observing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy in older patients with generalized anxiety demonstrates my point. A randomized trail found that cognitive behavioral therapy may be a superior method for elevating symptoms of anxiety in senior patients. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, observed older patients with generalized anxiety disorder in a primary care setting. Outcomes from three months of cognitive behavioral therapy were compared to an enhanced version of usual care that was similarly administered for three months. According to Melinda A. Stanley, Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine, older patients who received CBT during the trail showed greater improvement in general mental health, worry severity, and depressive symptoms. The improvements in patient health were maintained upon a one year follow-up. Researchers commenting on the findings concluded that “…cognitive behavior therapy is useful for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder in primary care.” Click here to read an article from WebMD that discusses the study more.

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