The potential of psychological interventions to improve quality of life and mood in muscle disorders

Muscle Nerve. 2015 Jul;52(1):131-6. doi: 10.1002/mus.24487. Epub 2015 May 28.


Quality of life (QoL) and mood are reduced in many patients with muscle disorders. Psychological variables appear to be contributors to both QoL and mood, suggesting that psychological interventions could improve these outcomes, yet research in this area is sparse. We review the roles of psychological variables, plus context and disease severity, in explaining QoL. A cognitive-behavioral model of disease self-management, with acceptance as the central component, is discussed. This model is then used to describe how psychological interventions derived from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), in particular Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), might be applied to address the issues of distress, nonadherence to treatments, pain, and fatigue in people with muscle disorders.

Keywords: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; muscle disorders; muscular dystrophy; psychology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Mood Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Muscular Diseases / complications
  • Muscular Diseases / psychology*
  • Muscular Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index