Cognitive-behavioral interventions in rheumatic diseases

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Rheumatic diseases, like many other chronic diseases, represent an important public health burden. To reduce the social and economic impact of these pathologies, an appropriate management of these conditions should be encouraged based on the use of established intervention strategies.

The aim of this article is to describe the content of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies (CBTs) for patients with rheumatic diseases aimed at managing pain, disability and quality of life.

These interventions involve education, training in various types of relaxation approaches and other coping skills, and the application of these skills in the patient’s home and work environment.

CBT include the teaching of life and coping skills that can assist the patient in productive problem solving and prevention or minimization of future pain episodes and stressful events.

Moreover, several studies suggest that the cognitive-behavioral approach is efficacious in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia in improving not only the psychological adjustment during the course of the disease but also physical function.

Source: Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia, 2007 Jan-Mar;29(1 Suppl A):A19-23; PMID: 17650738, by Ottonello M. Rehabilitation Institute, IRCCS, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Genoa-Nervi, Italy. [E-mail:
mottonello@fsm.it ]

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