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J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2002 Mar;33(1):39-47.

Teaching patients to self-inject: pilot study of a treatment for injection anxiety and phobia in multiple sclerosis patients prescribed injectable medications.

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Veterans Administration Medical Ctr, University of California, San Francisco 94131, USA.


Medications are increasingly being developed for chronic illnesses that require regular injection. Usually it is recommended that, if possible, patients learn to inject themselves. Self-injection is associated with better adherence than injection by family or clinics. Yet large numbers of people have difficulty learning to self-inject due to injection anxiety or phobia. We present data from eight patients who went through a manualized 6-week cognitive behavioral treatment designed to increase self-efficacy and reduce anxiety. These patients were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, were prescribed weekly intramuscular interferon beta-1a injections, and were unable to self-inject due to anxiety or phobia. Seven of the eight patients were able to inject within the 6 weeks of therapy. The eighth patient self-injected during an additional seventh session. Seven of the eight patients continued to self-inject at 3-month follow-up. Patients showed significant improvements in self-injection self-efficacy and injection anxiety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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