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Self-help cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety in pulmonary hypertension: pilot randomised controlled trial

Rawlings, Gregg H., Beail, Nigel, Armstrong, Iain and Thompson, Andrew R. ORCID: 2022. Self-help cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety in pulmonary hypertension: pilot randomised controlled trial. ERJ Open Research 8 (1) , 00526-2021. 10.1183/23120541.00526-2021

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Objective People with pulmonary hypertension (PH) are at an increased risk of experiencing anxiety disorders. This study developed and tested the acceptability, feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of a cognitive behavioural self-help intervention for anxiety in adults with PH using a pilot randomised control trial design. Methods Individuals with PH recruited from pulmonary hypertension associations were randomised to either receive a newly developed self-help intervention (n=37) or a wait-list condition (n=40). Acceptability was explored using mixed-methods questionnaires. A 2×3 repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to explore anxiety (GAD-7), depression (PHQ-9), health-related quality of life (emPHAsis-10), dyspnoea (D-12), self-mastery (Self-Mastery Scale) and mood-related cognitions and behaviours (CBP-Q) at baseline, post-intervention and 1-month follow up. A mediation analysis was performed to examine potential mechanisms of change. Results Dropout was low at 15.6%. All participants would recommend the intervention to another person with PH and felt it had helped with their anxiety. Participants in the intervention group reported a reduction in anxiety, depression and cognitive and behavioural processes linked with mood disorders, compared to the control group. Change in unhelpful cognitions and behaviours mediated the relationship between intervention condition and change in anxiety and depression. Discussion The intervention was found to be acceptable, feasible and safe. Anxiety at baseline was higher than previously observed, which could be associated with the additional burden caused by COVID-19 as the intervention was trialled during the pandemic. Findings add to the growing evidence supporting the use of psychological therapies, including cognitive behavioural therapy, in this clinical group.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This version is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non�Commercial Licence 4.0.
Publisher: European Respiratory Society
ISSN: 2312-0541
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 14 October 2021
Last Modified: 25 May 2023 08:56

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