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Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Mar 15;59(3):311-6. doi: 10.1002/art.23312.

Five-year followup of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for patients with recently-diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis: effects on health care utilization.

Author information

1
The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. louises@psych.usyd.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) administered early in the course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has long-term effects on health care use.

METHODS:

We reviewed the files of 47 of the original 53 patients with early RA who volunteered for a randomized controlled trial comparing CBT with no psychological intervention. Occasions of service provision associated with RA were documented and health care use was compared between groups.

RESULTS:

The CBT group used fewer health care resources than the control group in the 5 years following intervention. Significant differences were observed for the number of inpatient nights, physiotherapy referrals, injections, and for total health care use. There was a trend that closely approached significance toward fewer episodes of surgery and orthopedic referrals in the CBT group.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that CBT administered early in the course of RA can reduce health care use for the first 5 years after treatment. This is a stringent test of the efficacy of a brief psychological intervention, and supports the fact that brief psychological treatments can have long-term effects.

PMID:
18311768
DOI:
10.1002/art.23312
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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