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People With Dementia May Benefit From Talk Therapy For Anxiety Or Depression

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People With Dementia May Benefit From Talk Therapy For Anxiety Or Depression

(CTN News) – A new study finds that people living with dementia who suffer from anxiety or depression may benefit from talking therapies.

According to previous studies, 38% of people with mild dementia suffer from mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

The new study, published in eClinicalMedicine, is the first to examine whether routinely delivered talking therapies can relieve symptoms.

According to lead author Georgia Bell from the University College of London, anxiety and depression are extremely debilitating. They have a negative impact on both the person with dementia and their caregivers.

The study examined data from 2,515,402 people who completed a course of treatment through England’s national ‘Improving Access to Psychological Therapies’ (IAPT) service between 2012 and 2019.

A free NHS service, IAPT offers evidence-based treatments for anxiety and depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), counselling, and guided self-help, delivered face-to-face, individually, in groups, or online.

Study participants were required to have clinical levels of depression as measured by a standard questionnaire, which takes into account factors such as fatigue, sleep problems, and low mood.

A standard anxiety measure asks patients how much they worry or have trouble relaxing.

In order to examine outcomes for people with dementia, the researchers looked at 1,549 people who were diagnosed with before starting IAPT treatment.

A control group of 1,329 people was also used to assess whether therapy outcomes differed between those with and without dementia.

This was done by selecting a group of people with  whose age, gender, depression and anxiety severity were similar to those with dementia when starting therapy.

According to the researchers, IAPT reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in 63 percent of people with dementia following treatment. In the meantime, approximately 40 percent had completely recovered.

Compared to the control group, 70% of participants improved their symptoms and 47% recovered.

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