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Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy as a feasible treatment of adult-onset, focal, isolated, idiopathic cervical dystonia

Wadon, Megan, MacIver, Claire, Winter, Mia and Peall, Kathryn ORCID: 2021. Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy as a feasible treatment of adult-onset, focal, isolated, idiopathic cervical dystonia. Clinical Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 5 , 100121. 10.1016/j.prdoa.2021.100121

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Introduction Psychiatric symptoms are well recognised co-morbid traits in adult-onset idiopathic, isolated, focal cervical dystonia (AOIFCD), although few studies have sought to address their management. Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) may provide an accessible solution. Here, we determine the feasibility of using iCBT in the management of non-motor symptoms for individuals with AOIFCD. Methods Participants were randomised to receive an 8-week iCBT programme (n=10) or not (n=10), both alongside routine clinical care. All participants underwent assessments at baseline, 3-, and 6- months for anxiety, depression, quality of life and motor symptoms, and engagement with iCBT was recorded. Group differences over time were determined using two-way mixed ANOVA, and simple statistics evaluated change on an individual participant level. Results Over half of participants receiving iCBT (6/10) showed high engagement, with feedback indicating most participants found iCBT useful (6/8), would continue to use it (7/8), and try it again if offered (7/8). Although no between-group significant differences were observed (e.g. Beck’s Depression Inventory p=0.067) anxiety and depression levels showed trends towards improvement at 3-months in those receiving iCBT. Individual level analysis also indicated higher percentage level improvements in these symptoms, with this sustained in 86% participants. Conclusion iCBT represents a feasible therapeutic option in the management of co-morbid anxiety and depression in AOIFCD. Further work is needed to replicate these findings in a larger cohort, identify those most likely to benefit from this form of therapy and overcome barriers hindering those less likely to engage with this form of treatment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2590-1125
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: 21 November 2021
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2023 18:06

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