Psychotherapy as diabetes treatment for teens

Fri, 09 Dec 2005
Like any disease, diabetes can be incredibly stressful. In adolescents who are having to deal with the complications of growing up as well, the disease can feel like a major hindrance. A recent investigation has uncovered that intensive psychotherapy, based at home, can significantly reduce stress in adolescents suffering from type 1.

The report, carried out by a team from Wayne State University, Detroit, was published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study indicated that psychotherapy could be particularly useful in treating patients with a poor adherence to treatment. The psychotherapy conducted by the team focused on the family, and what barriers there were to good treatment adherence. Furthermore, the study investigated how these factors affected diabetes control.

It was found that adolescents who underwent psychotherapy could experience significantly reduced stress levels. The intensive programme was reported to work equally well for adolescents of different ages, sexes and races.

There was a clear association between stress and disease control, but none found between disease control and age or race.

A further objective of the study team is to observe the long-term affects of their intervention. The possibility also exists to use psychotherapy in the treatment of other chronic ailments.
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