Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Management of Anxiety and Medication Taper in Older Adults
ABSTRACT The authors hypothesized that patients with late-life anxiety undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy plus medical management for medication taper (CBT-MM) would realize greater reduction in medication use and greater improvement in psychological symptoms than a control group undergoing medical management alone (MM).
Forty-two patients (age >60) who wanted to reduce anxiolytic medication were allocated to the two groups (CBT-MM versus MM), using a randomization plus difference-minimization procedure (to equate for medication use).
CBT-MM completers significantly reduced medication use, but not at a greater rate than MM completers. At the same time, CBT-MM completers experienced significantly greater alleviation of psychological symptoms than did MM completers. Some, but not all, treatment gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Intention-to-treat analyses using the mixed-effects model showed similar, but weaker, treatment effects than completer analyses.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can alleviate psychological symptoms in elderly patients with anxiety even as patients reduce anxiolytic medication.
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ABSTRACT: Anxiety and depression are commonly comorbid in older adults and are associated with worse physical and mental health outcomes and poorer response to psychological and pharmacological treatments. However, little research has examined the effectiveness of psychological programs to treat comorbid anxiety and depression in older adults. Sixty-two community dwelling adults aged over 60 years with comorbid anxiety and depression were randomly allocated to group cognitive behavioural therapy or a waitlist condition and were assessed immediately following and three months after treatment. After controlling for cognitive ability at pre-treatment, cognitive behaviour therapy resulted in significantly greater reductions, than waitlist, on symptoms of anxiety and depression based on a semi-structured diagnostic interview rated by clinicians unaware of treatment condition. Significant time by treatment interactions were also found for self-report measures of anxiety and depression and these gains were maintained at the three month follow up period. In contrast no significant differences were found between groups on measures of worry and well-being. In conclusion, group cognitive behavioural therapy is efficacious in reducing comorbid anxiety and depression in geriatric populations and gains maintain for at least three months.Behaviour Research and Therapy 09/2013; 51(12):779-786. DOI:10.1016/j.brat.2013.09.002 · 3.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The authors pooled data from three independently conducted treatment outcome studies to examine predictors of outcome from group-administered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Data were collected from 65 patients with a mean age of 67.7 years (SD = 6.6). Average reliable change indices (RCI) based on 3 outcome measures were calculated at posttreatment and at 6-month follow-up. Approximately half of patients achieved a significant RCI at posttreatment and two-thirds achieved a significant RCI at follow-up. Factors associated with better outcomes included better homework adherence, higher baseline GAD severity, and presence of a comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. Results suggest that at-home practice is associated with better and longer-lasting outcomes from CBT in older adults with GAD.Behavior Therapy 01/2005; 36(2):147-156. DOI:10.1016/S0005-7894(05)80063-2 · 2.43 Impact Factor