Psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy interventions to reduce distress or improve well-being in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review

Gould, Rebecca L., Coulson, Mark, Brown, Richard G., Goldstein, Laura H., Al-Chalabi, Ammar and Howard, Robert J. (2015) Psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy interventions to reduce distress or improve well-being in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a systematic review. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 16 (5-6). pp. 293-302. ISSN 2167-8421

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Abstract

Our objective was to systematically review and critically evaluate the evidence for psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy interventions for reducing distress or improving well-being in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (pwALS). Online bibliographic databases and clinical trial registers were searched and an assessment of study quality was conducted. Seven thousand two hundred and twenty-three studies were identified, of which five met inclusion criteria (four completed and one in progress). All studies examined psychotherapeutic interventions, and no studies investigated pharmacotherapy. Two studies adopted a randomized controlled trial design, one a controlled trial design and two a cohort design. Sample sizes were small in all studies (overall n = 145). The quality of completed studies was generally poor, with evidence that all were at potential risk of bias in numerous areas. Improvements in well-being were found with expressive disclosure (compared to no disclosure), cognitive behavioural therapy/counselling (compared to non-randomized pharmacotherapy) and hypnosis in the short term only, while no improvements were seen with a life review intervention. In conclusion, there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend the use of specific psychotherapy interventions for reducing distress or improving well-being in pwALS, and no evidence to support pharmacotherapy interventions. Research is urgently needed to address these significant gaps in the literature.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 15 Jul 2015
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Applied Health Psychology group
Item ID: 18935
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Mark Coulson
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 10:56
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:38
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/18935

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