Objective: To systematically evaluate the efficacy of psychologically based interventions for addressing psychological outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Methods: Electronic databases, key journals and reference lists of included studies were scrutinised for inclusion; in addition authors were contacted for potential unpublished research. Nine studies were identified for inclusion. Data was extracted by two reviewers independently using a standardised extraction sheet and a series of meta-analyses completed for measures of anxiety, depression and quality of life.
Results: Eight studies evaluated a cognitive behavioural- or psychotherapeutically based intervention and one study evaluated taped progressive muscle relaxation. The studies revealed some evidence for the interventions' impact on anxiety, but, taken together interventions had limited effectiveness. The meta-analyses that were conducted revealed a small effect for anxiety only.
Conclusion: The results are discussed considering the limitations of the research and previous work in this area. A systematic evaluation of psychological interventions on psychological co-morbidity in patients with COPD is recommended.
Practice implications: There is some evidence that psychological interventions impact anxiety and this should be explored further and more interventions should target quality of life.
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