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Mind‐body interventions during pregnancy for preventing or treating women's anxiety

Mind‐body interventions like yoga or hypnotherapy may be effective for reducing anxiety. These can be learned to induce mental relaxation and alter negative thinking related to anxiety to change the perception of a stressful event, leading to better adapted behaviour and coping skills. Their effectiveness for treatment or prevention of women’s anxiety during pregnancy needs to be confirmed in clinical trials, as anxiety during the different stages of pregnancy can affect women’s health and have consequences for the child. This review identified few studies that examined this. We included eight randomized controlled studies with 556 women in this review. Based on these studies, there is some not strong evidence for the effectiveness of mind‐body interventions in the management of anxiety during pregnancy, labor, or in the first four weeks after giving birth. Compared with usual care, imagery may have a positive effect on anxiety during labor. Another study showed that imagery had a positive effect on anxiety and depression in the immediate postpartum period. Autogenic training might be effective for decreasing women's anxiety before delivering. No harmful effects were reported for any mind‐body interventions in the studies included in the review. The studies used different mind‐body interventions, sometimes as part of a complex intervention, that they compared with usual care or other potentially active interventions using diverse outcome measures. Several studies were at high risk of bias, had small sample sizes and high dropout rates.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Autogenic training for tension type headaches: a systematic review of controlled trials

This well-conducted review compared autogenic training (AT) with cognitive coping, biofeedback or hypnosis for tension-type headaches in adults. Given the paucity of good-quality studies included in their review, the authors concluded that there was insufficient evidence to reach conclusions on the effectiveness of AT. These conclusions are likely to be reliable.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2006

Depression: Can relaxation techniques help?

Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation can help relieve mild to moderate depression. But they are not as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 23, 2012

Systematic review of relaxation interventions for pain

PURPOSE: To review randomized trials of relaxation interventions used for the treatment of pain in adults and to synthesize evidence regarding the efficacy of specific techniques.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2006

Relaxation techniques and sleep hygiene for insomnia

Nearly one out of five people have trouble with insomnia for a time. It is often difficult to say why someone is sleeping poorly. Using relaxation techniques and changing sleeping habits can help you fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep.Many people with insomnia want to get more sleep again without having to take sleeping pills. It can then be worth giving relaxation techniques a try or checking whether the sleep problems might be caused by certain habits, such as drinking coffee late in the evening.One of the key goals of relaxation techniques and good "sleep hygiene" is to worry less about getting enough sleep. Lying in bed and worrying about not being able to fall asleep can actually prevent you from sleeping itself.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 24, 2013

Insomnia: Problems sleeping – Information for teenagers

If you often feel so tired and exhausted that you have trouble doing everyday tasks during the day, you are not getting enough sleep. It is estimated that about one out of five people have trouble sleeping. But the good news is that there are a number of things you can do about this problem on your own. Find out about the different options here. Most teenagers can get by on about eight hours of sleep per night. But this is just an average. You might need a different amount of sleep. The sleep times given here refer to what is known as "total sleep time." This begins the moment you turn off the light and close your eyes. It ends when you are properly awake the next morning and get up. You do not need to sleep soundly for eight hours every night.It is not normal to have a very difficult time getting up in the morning. By this we do not mean sometimes still being a little tired in the morning and wanting to get in a few more winks. It is only a problem if you regularly feel really beat first thing in the morning and can hardly make it out of bed. Teenagers often get into the habit of going to bed late even during the week and then sleeping for a very long time on the weekend. This kind of irregular sleeping pattern can lead to sleep problems.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 24, 2013

Migraine prevention in children and teenagers

The symptoms of an acute migraine attack can be relieved with medication. Some children and teenagers keep getting migraines, though. If the migraine attacks are frequent, many children and their parents try to find ways to prevent them.About 10 out of 100 teenagers have migraines in puberty. Sometimes the migraines stop after puberty, but some people still have them as adults. Painkillers and migraine medication are effective treatments for migraine attacks. A number of these medicines are also suitable for children and teenagers.Frequent migraine attacks can be very taxing. Taking preventive medication can help – but is most effective in combination with other preventive strategies.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 18, 2015

Relaxation as treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review of randomised controlled studies

Bibliographic details: Persson A L, Veenhuizen H, Zachrison L, Gard G.  Relaxation as treatment for chronic musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review of randomised controlled studies. Physical Therapy Reviews 2008; 13(5): 355-365

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2008

Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorders [Internet]

We systematically reviewed evidence on therapies for adolescents and young adults (ages 13 to 30) with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We focused on the outcomes, including harms and adverse effects, of interventions addressing the core symptoms of ASD; common medical and mental health comorbidities occurring with ASD; the attainment of goals toward functional/adult independence; educational and occupational/vocational attainment; quality of life; access to health and other services; and the transitioning process (i.e., process of transitioning to greater independent functioning). We also addressed the effects of interventions on family outcomes including parent distress and satisfaction with interventions.

Comparative Effectiveness Reviews - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: August 2012
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A systematic review of biopsychosocial training programs for the self-management of emotional stress: potential applications for the military

Combat-exposed troops and their family members are at risk for stress reactions and related disorders. Multimodal biopsychosocial training programs incorporating complementary and alternative self-management techniques have the potential to reduce stress-related symptoms and dysfunction. Such training can preempt or attenuate the posttraumatic stress response and may be effectively incorporated into the training cycle for deploying and redeploying troops and their families. A large systematic review was conducted to survey the literature on multimodal training programs for the self-management of emotional stress. This report is an overview of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) identified in this systematic review. Select programs such as mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management, Autogenic Training, Relaxation Response Training, and other meditation and mind-body skills practices are highlighted, and the feasibility of their implementation within military settings is addressed.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2013

Relaxation training for anxiety: a ten-years systematic review with meta-analysis

This review concluded that relaxation training showed consistent and significant efficacy in reducing anxiety. The synthesis was poorly reported and there was no attempt to assess the validity of the included studies. Given these limitations it was difficult to determine the reliability of the authors' conclusions.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet] - Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK).

Version: 2008

Migraine: Overview

Migraines are quite different than the usual kind of headaches that most people have every now and then. They typically start suddenly, with moderate to severe pain on only one side of your head. Even small movements often make the pain worse. What can help relieve migraines? How can they be prevented?

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: November 19, 2015

Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Overview

Some people who have obsessive-compulsive disorder constantly wash their hands because they are so afraid of germs, while others might not be able to stop counting to 20. Over time these kinds of rituals can start to dominate a person’s life. But there are treatments available to help people cope with obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 10, 2014

Relaxation for depression

Many people with depression do not get treatment or delay getting treatment. One reason for this is that they do not like antidepressants. Another is the limited availability of specialized psychological treatments, such as cognitive‐behaviour therapy. Relaxation techniques are a simple psychological treatment that can be administered after brief training. The review of 15 trials found that it was better than no treatment or minimal treatment, but not as effective as psychological therapies like cognitive‐behaviour therapy. Relaxation techniques have potential as a simple first‐line psychological treatment for depression. Those who do not respond within a set time could be offered more complex psychological treatment such as cognitive‐behaviour therapy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Treatment options for generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder can dominate the life of the person who has it and often persists for a long time. But there are a number of different approaches that can be learned to better manage the anxiety and cope well in everyday life. Some medications are also effective.People who have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are not afraid of specific things or situations, but of practically everything, which is why it is referred to as “generalized” anxiety. This can take a great emotional toll and also cause a number of physical symptoms including drowsiness, muscle tension and a racing heartbeat. Being in a state of constant worry is exhausting, but there are different treatments that can help reduce the anxiety down to a tolerable level.Unlike other kinds of anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder often first develops in people between the ages of 30 and 35. But generally speaking, an anxiety disorder can affect people of all ages.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 13, 2014

Recurrent non-metastatic breast cancer

When breast cancer comes back it is often more frightening than the first time it was diagnosed. But even if it does come back, there are still treatment options. It is often possible to remove the new tumor and prevent the cancer from spreading further. Daily help and support can be important in maintaining a good quality of life.Breast cancer is the uncontrollable growth of new tissue that starts in the mammary gland and then spreads. If breast cancer comes back after having beaten the disease once, that usually means that some cancer cells managed to remain inside the body despite treatment, and that they have started to grow again. This can happen years or even decades after the first illness. Breast cancer can also sometimes form distant metastatic tumors in other parts of the body.If there is a local recurrence, a new tumor grows in the breast that was already affected by cancer. If the breast was removed, the new tumor may start growing on the chest wall or in the skin above it. “Locoregional” means that cancer cells have also spread to tissue surrounding the breast, for example in the skin, the armpit or around the collar bone. The tumor may also have spread to neighboring lymph nodes or blood vessels. If a tumor grows in the previously healthy breast, it is considered to be a new, different tumor.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 27, 2012

Screening for Depression in Adults and Older Adults in Primary Care: An Updated Systematic Review [Internet]

Depression causes significant suffering and is commonly seen in primary care. Because primary care providers sometimes fail to identify patients as depressed, systematic screening programs in primary care may be of use in improving outcomes in depressed patients. Depression screening is predicated on the notion that identification will allow effective treatments to be delivered and that the benefits of treatment will outweigh the harms. Treatment efficacy of antidepressants and psychotherapy in general adult populations was established in a previous United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSFT) review on depression screening, but treatment in older adults was not examined specifically. Additionally, harms of screening and treatment were not previously examined in detail.

Evidence Syntheses - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: December 2009
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Insomnia: Overview

If constant worry or bad sleep habits are preventing you from sleeping properly, there are many products and approaches you could try out to get a better night's sleep. These include relaxation techniques and improving your "sleep hygiene."

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: September 11, 2013

Relaxation for high blood pressure in adults which has no clearly identified cause

The World Health Organisation estimates that high blood pressure leads to over 7 million deaths each year, about 13% of the total deaths worldwide. If people lower their blood pressure, they are less likely to die or to have heart attacks and strokes. If someone's blood pressure is only slightly too high, they may prefer trying to lower it by changing their lifestyle rather than starting on drugs. Although we know that relaxing can counteract the short‐term increases in blood pressure that are caused by stress, we don't know if a sustained programme of relaxation can produce long‐term reductions in blood pressure or decrease the risk of death, heart attack and stroke.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Generalized anxiety disorder: Overview

Everyone feels scared sometimes. Fear can protect us by putting us in a state of alertness so we can react more quickly. But constantly worrying about practically everything can become a major problem. Generalized anxiety disorder could be the cause.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 13, 2014

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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