Depression, therapy and fibromyalgia

Symptoms of depression in teens with juvenile fibromyalgia can be reduced through psychological intervention, new research has indicated. Published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, the study revealed cognitive-behavioural therapy can also serve to lessen functional disability.

According to the investigation, this approach is both effective and safe as a means of tackling depressive symptoms in adolescents, as well as being favourable to disease management education.

Dr Susmita Kashikar-Zuck from the Division of Behavioural Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio - which has a history stretching back to the incorporation of the Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1883 - said: "When added to standard medical care, cognitive-behavioural therapy helps to improve daily functioning and overall wellbeing for adolescents with fibromyalgia."

More than 100 youngsters - aged between 11 and 18 - took part in the study, which ran between December 2005 and 2009.

Professor Julie Barlow of Coventry University commented: "This is an exciting development showing that effective and safe psychological interventions have an important role to play in reducing the symptoms of depression among teens with fibromyalgia.

"Dissemination amongst relevant healthcare professionals is needed."