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Psychotherapy Can Help People With Lupus Cope

After 10 sessions, anxiety, depression and stress lessened, researchers say

TUESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Psychotherapy helps cut the incidence of psychological woes in patients with lupus who have high levels of daily stress, a new study finds.

The treatment also helps these patients improve and maintain their quality of life, according to a new Spanish study.

The research included 45 patients randomly assigned to a control group or to a therapy group. Each received 10 weekly sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

By the end of the study, the patients in the therapy group had significantly reduced levels of depression, anxiety and daily stress -- along with significant improvement in quality of life -- compared to those in the control group.

However, the patients in the therapy group didn't show any significant reduction in lupus disease activity, said the Spanish researchers.

The study was led by N. Navarrete-Navarrete of the University Hospital Virgen de Las Nieves, and was recently published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has more about the psychosocial impacts of lupus.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, news release, March 3, 2010

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