Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Movement Disorders: A Review

We reviewed all articles, conducted until 2014, that contained primary data derived from clinical trials and case reports on the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy in the most common movement disorders

Isabella Berardelli; Massimo Pasquini; Valentina Roselli; Massimo Biondi; Alfredo Berardelli; Giovanni Fabbrini


Scholarcy highlights

  • In addition to motor symptoms, patients with movement disorders often complain of psychiatric disturbances, including mood, anxiety, and impulse-control disorders and psychosis
  • We examined clinical studies that assessed the effect of individual cognitive behavioral therapy and group CBT in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in the most common movement disorders
  • In Parkinson’s disease, the majority of therapeutic interventions consisted of individual sessions of CBT
  • Further studies, conducted on larger patient samples and with longer observation periods, are warranted to confirm the efficacy and feasibility of CBT in PD. Another limitation of previous CBT studies in PD is that it is still unclear whether CBT has any influence on motor symptoms
  • CBT and HRT have been assessed in a number of large, controlled, clinical trials in Tourette’s syndrome patients, conducted on adults as well as on children and adolescents, who generally displayed an improvement in psychiatric disturbances and tics
  • No conclusions can be drawn on the effects of CBT in the treatment of psychiatric disorders in dystonia and Huntington’s disease
  • Controlled trials are needed to study the effect of individual and group cognitive behavioral therapy in patients with dystonia; given that cervical dystonia patients are those most likely to be affected by depression, anxiety, and coping problems, they are those who may benefit most from psychotherapies

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