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Newer form of psychotherapy found to relieve chronic pain among older adults – ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: chronic pain among Older Adults can be better addressed through Emotional Awareness and expression therapy (EAET), a completely new form of PsychotherapyAccording to a new research. EAET, which had its initial clinical trials in the 2000s, targets past trauma and stress experienced by people with chronic pain conditions, but may worsen their symptoms. Some of these conditions are as follows fibromyalgiain which fatigue and muscle pain are felt throughout the body, and Arthritis (Joint pain).

Researchers led by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US compared the health benefits of two groups of people suffering from chronic pain conditions – one receiving EAET and the other receiving cognitive behavioural therapy.CBT,

CBT does not focus on helping people resolve past traumas or adversities, although it is known to help them develop coping strategies to deal with personal problems by changing thoughts, attitudes, and behavior.

The study included more than 120 soldiers, most of whom were men and aged 60-95 years and who had musculoskeletal pain for at least three months. The study findings have been published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open.

The researchers found that 63 percent of veterans who received EAET experienced at least a 30 percent reduction in pain. Only 17 percent of participants who underwent CBT experienced a similar reduction in pain.

Additionally, more than 40 percent of older adults experienced a reduction in pain six months after receiving EAET treatment, compared to 14 percent among participants who received CBT.

Older adults who received EAET treatment reported greater benefits in terms of addressing psychiatric conditions, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the study group, more than two-thirds of participants had a psychiatric diagnosis, of which nearly one-third had PTSD.

“If there is hurt or stress, people have a range of normal, natural emotional responses. These can include anger, guilt and sadness. Because these feelings are painful, people often avoid them, but EAET helps people face difficult emotions with honesty and self-compassion,” said lead author Brandon Yarns, assistant professor in UCLA Health’s Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.

“In therapy, they can release the anger, pain and guilt they’ve been holding inside of them and ultimately become filled with self-compassion,” Yarns said.

  • Published on June 14, 2024 at 06:19 PM IST

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