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Therapy 'helps alleviate unexplained symptoms'

Therapy 'helps alleviate unexplained symptoms'
28th July 2011

A new therapy could bring hope to those using assisted living who are subject to symptoms of pain, weakness or dizziness that is not explained by any underlying disease, according to a study.

Researchers developed a type of cognitive behavioural therapy and devised a self-help workbook for patients with these functional of psychogenic symptoms, details of which were published in journal Neurology.

After three months, people who had undergone the extra therapy were around twice as likely to report improvements in overall health than those who did not receive it.

Some 13 per cent more people who experienced the treatment said their health was "better" or "much better" than the participants who received standard care.

Study author Michael Sharpe, of the University of Edinburgh, commented: "This study suggests that cognitive behavioural therapy-based guided self-help may be a new and potentially useful first step in improving the management of these challenging symptoms."

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps the patient to understand and change how they think about and respond to their symptoms in an effort to improve their physical and emotional state and functioning.

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