Influences of lifestyle and general practice (GP) care on the symptom profile of people with panic disorder

Lambert, Rodney and Caan, Woody and McVicar, Andrew J. (2008) Influences of lifestyle and general practice (GP) care on the symptom profile of people with panic disorder. Journal of Public Mental Health, 7 (2). pp. 18-24. ISSN 2042-8731

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Current treatment guidelines for anxiety disorders, including panic disorder (PD), recommend either medication or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). There is currently a call through the Layard Report for significant investment to increase the availability of CBT resources. However, there are reported limitations to both medication and CBT in the treatment of anxiety, and it appears prudent to consider additional methods of treatment that may offer effective interventions. One such intervention is based around the evidence of altered sensitivity within a number of physiological body systems in anxiety patients (particularly those with PD), all of which are influenced in their function by habitual lifestyle behaviours. A randomised controlled trial compared a 16‐week occupational therapy‐led lifestyle intervention and routine general practice (GP) care for PD. At 20 weeks, 14 symptoms with ‘moderate’ to ‘very severe’ ratings were assessed in 36 GP and 31 lifestyle‐intervention patients. Composite symptom profiles, similar at baseline, were produced. The GP intervention produced modest improvements in most symptoms. The lifestyle intervention overall produced greater symptomatic relief (Wilcoxon signed ranks test, P= 0.008). The physiological and cognitive symptom profile also changed more with lifestyle intervention. Occupational therapists have developed their interventions based on their understanding of everyday occupation. Habitual lifestyle behaviours are characterised as being recurrent elements of everyday occupation and are, therefore, legitimate targets for occupational therapy interventions. They provide a vehicle through which to encourage patients to regain understanding and control of their own anxiety symptoms.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: clinical trial, symptom profile, anxiety disorders, lifestyle, primary care, occupational therapy
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Repository Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2010 13:55
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:18

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