Neuropsychiatric Symptoms and the Use of Mind-body Therapies
July 27, 2013 -
Neuropsychiatric symptoms affect 37%
of US adults and present in many important diagnoses including posttraumatic
stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain. However, these
symptoms are difficult to treat with standard treatments, and patients may seek
alternative options. In this study, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network in
Boston examined the use of mind-body therapies by adults with neuropsychiatric
METHOD: The researchers compared mind-body therapy use
(biofeedback, energy healing, meditation, guided imagery, yoga, deep-breathing
exercises, hypnosis, progressive relaxation therapy, Qigong, and Tai Chi)
between adults with and without neuropsychiatric symptoms (anxiety, depression,
insomnia, headaches, memory deficits, attention deficits, and excessive daytime
sleepiness) in the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. Use of more than one
of these therapies in the prior 12 months was the primary outcome of interest.
The researchers also examined prevalence and reasons for mind-body therapy use
in adults with neuropsychiatric symptoms. The researchers performed logistic
regression to examine the association between neuropsychiatric symptoms and
mind-body therapy use to adjust for sociodemographic and clinical factors.
RESULTS: Adults with more than one neuropsychiatric
symptom used mind-body therapies more than adults without symptoms. Prevalence
increased with increasing number of symptoms; differences persisted after
adjustment for potential confounders. Reasons for mind-body therapy use among
adults with more than one symptom included the ineffectiveness or expense of
conventional medicine. Most adults (nearly 70%) with more than one symptom did
not discuss their mind-body therapy use with a conventional provider.
CONCLUSIONS: Adults with more than one neuropsychiatric
symptom use mind-body therapies frequently; more symptoms are associated with
increased use. Future research is needed to understand the efficacy of these
The study is published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal
of clinical psychiatry.