Psychological interventions for non-ulcer dyspepsia Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • BACKGROUND: Studies have also shown that NUD patients have higher scores of anxiety, depression, neurotism, chronic tension, hostility, hypochondriasis, and tendency to be more pessimistic when compared with the community controls. However, the role of psychological interventions in NUD remains uncertain. OBJECTIVES: This review aims to determine the effectiveness of psychological interventions including psychotherapy, psychodrama, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy and hypnosis in the improvement of either individual or global dyspepsia symptom scores and quality of life scores patients with NUD. SEARCH STRATEGY: Trials were located through electronic searches of the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR), MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and PsycLIT, using very broad subject headings and text words. Bibliographies of retrieved articles were also searched and experts in the field were contacted. SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-randomised studies assessing the effectiveness of psychological interventions (including psychotherapy, psychodrama, cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation therapy and hypnosis) for non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD) were identified. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data collected included individual, global dyspepsia symptom scores and quality of life (QoL) scores. MAIN RESULTS: We identified only four trials, each using different psychological interventions and three presenting results in a manner, that did not allow synthesis of the data to form a meta-analysis. All trials suggest that psychological interventions benefit dyspepsia symptoms and this effect persists for one year. However, all trials use statistical techniques that adjusted for baseline differences between groups. This should not be necessary for a randomised trial that is adequately powered suggesting that the sample size of these papers was too small. Unadjusted data was not statistically significant. The other problem of psychological intervention include low recruitment and high drop out rate which has been shown to be greater in patients receiving group therapy. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is currently insufficient evidence from this review to confirm the efficacy of psychological intervention in NUD. There is also no evidence on the combined effects of pharmacological and psychological therapy. Nevertheless, if there are any benefits of psychological therapies, they are likely to persist long-term and NUD is a chronic relapsing and remitting disorder. Psychological therapies may therefore be offered to patients with severe symptoms that have not responded to pharmacological therapies.

publication date

  • 2004