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Psychotherapy with multiple-sclerosis patients.

Authors
  • Langenmayr, A
  • Schöttes, N
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychological reports
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2000
Volume
86
Issue
2
Pages
495–508
Identifiers
PMID: 10840903
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We wanted to find out if psychotherapy may influence the course of the physical aspects of multiple sclerosis and the consequences of psychotherapy for coping processes. 46 patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis who had chosen to undergo a 1-yr. group psychotherapy treatment were compared with a control group of 24 multiple-sclerosis patients without such treatment. They were given the Giessen test (personality test), the Achievement Capacities Questionnaire by Kesselring, an intensive interview as well as the content analysis scales of verbal behavior by Gottschalk and Gleser. The various tests were carried out at each of four times of measurement with a 2-yr. follow-up. There were significant changes in the area of relationships and aggressive loosening (interview) between the Therapy and Control groups. Several changes were also found with regard to physical symptoms (Achievement Capacities Questionnaire) in the Therapy group compared to the Control group, e.g., increases in physical mobility and decreases in care of the body. The decreases appear to be a known effect of therapy with psychosomatic disorders. We interpret it psychoanalytically as resistance against releasing anxiety of counter-cathected motives which multiple sclerosis helps to keep unconscious. In a follow-up, the Therapy group showed greater optimism and physical improvements, e.g., decrease in feeling cold and lack of energy. Some positive changes appeared in both groups, such as, for example, an improvement of cognitive impairment (Gottschalk & Gleser). It appears that the attention from the research itself may have affected both groups because some members of both groups were in contact and hence the Control group was also informed about the research project and its underlying hypothesis.

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