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Barriers and engagement in breast cancer survivorship wellness activities

Szuhany, Kristin L; Malgaroli, Matteo; Riley, Gabriella; Miron, Carly D; Suzuki, Rebecca; Park, Jae Hyung; Rosenthal, Jane; Chachoua, Abraham; Meyers, Marleen; Simon, Naomi M
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Breast cancer survivors may be at risk for increased rates of emotional distress and poorer quality of life. Survivorship care plans (SCPs) promoting wellness activities may support well-being; however, survivors may not receive or engage in their SCPs. This study aimed to assess receipt and participation in SCP activities as well as barriers to engagement amongst breast cancer survivors. METHODS:Breast cancer survivors (n = 187; 99% female, Mean age = 57.7) consented and completed self-reported assessments of SCP recommendations, engagement and interest in wellness activities, and potential barriers to engagement. RESULTS:A minority of participants recalled receiving an SCP (21%). The most physician recommended (62%) and completed (53%) activity was exercise. Interest in adding other wellness activities to the SCP was high, with reported interest levels of approximately 50% for several activities (e.g., mind body, nutrition, psychotherapy interventions). Fully half reported that having a physician-designed plan would influence participation in activities. The most common reported barriers to SCP activity engagement were lack of time (82%), work/school (65%), and lack of information (65%). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Few survivors recalled receiving a formal SCP, and lack of information about wellness activities was a commonly reported barrier to participation. Interest in wellness activities was generally high and may indicate the need for more formal prescription or motivation enhancement techniques to promote SCP engagement. There may be a clinical need to emphasize SCP recommendations to enhance recall and increase engagement in wellness activities that may reduce psychological distress and improve quality of life.
PMID: 34095986
ISSN: 1573-7217
CID: 4899592

Reductions in guilt cognitions following prolonged exposure and/or sertraline predict subsequent improvements in PTSD and depression

Allard, Carolyn B; Norman, Sonya B; Straus, Elizabeth; Kim, H Myra; Stein, Murray B; Simon, Naomi M; Rauch, Sheila A M
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Reduction of trauma related negative cognitions, such as guilt, is thought to be a mechanism of change within PTSD treatments like prolonged exposure (PE). Research suggests PE can directly address guilt cognitions. However, whether pharmacotherapies for PTSD can remains unclear. METHODS:Data from a randomized controlled trial of PE plus placebo (PE + PLB), sertraline plus enhanced medication management (SERT + EMM), and their combination (PE + SERT) in 195 Veterans from recent wars was analyzed. RESULTS:The unadjusted means and mixed-effects model showed guilt decreased significantly over the follow-up time as expected; however, contrary to our hypothesis, PE conditions were not associated with greater reductions in guilt than the SERT + EMM condition. As hypothesized, week 12 reduction in guilt predicted post-treatment (weeks 24-52) reduction in PTSD and depression, but not impairments in function. LIMITATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:Generalizability of findings is limited by the sample being comprised of combat Veterans who were predominantly male, not on SSRI at study entry, willing to be randomized to therapy or medication, and reporting low levels of guilt. To reduce differences in provider attention, SERT + EMM was administered over 30 min to include psychoeducation and active listening; it is unknown if this contributed to effects on guilt. CONCLUSIONS:PE + PLB, SERT + EMM, and PE + SERT were equally associated with reduction in trauma related guilt. Reducing trauma related guilt may be a pathway to reducing PTSD and posttraumatic depression symptoms. Further study is needed to determine how best to treat trauma related guilt and to understand the mechanisms by which guilt improves across different treatments for PTSD.
PMID: 34147766
ISSN: 1873-7943
CID: 4916482

Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of the Angiotensin Receptor Antagonist Losartan for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Stein, Murray B; Jain, Sonia; Simon, Naomi M; West, James C; Marvar, Paul J; Bui, Eric; He, Feng; Benedek, David M; Cassano, Paolo; Griffith, James L; Howlett, Jonathan; Malgaroli, Matteo; Melaragno, Andrew; Seligowski, Antonia V; Shu, I-Wei; Song, Suzan; Szuhany, Kristin; Taylor, Charles T; Ressler, Kerry J
BACKGROUND:Evidence-based pharmacological treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are few and of limited efficacy. Previous work suggests that angiotensin type 1 receptor inhibition facilitates fear inhibition and extinction, important for recovery from PTSD. This study tests the efficacy of the angiotensin type 1 receptor antagonist losartan, an antihypertensive drug, repurposed for the treatment of PTSD. METHODS:A randomized controlled trial was conducted for 10 weeks in 149 men and women meeting DSM-5 PTSD criteria. Losartan (vs. placebo) was flexibly titrated from 25 to 100 mg/day by week 6 and held at highest tolerated dose until week 10. Primary outcome was the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) change score at 10 weeks from baseline. A key secondary outcome was change in CAPS-5 associated with a single nucleotide polymorphism of the ACE gene. Additional secondary outcomes included changes in the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and proportion of responders with a Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale of "much improved" or "very much improved." RESULTS:Both groups had robust improvement in PTSD symptoms, but there was no significant difference on the primary end point, CAPS-5 measured as week 10 change from baseline, between losartan and placebo (mean change difference, 0.9, 95% confidence interval, -3.2 to 5.0). There was no significant difference in the proportion of Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale responders for losartan (58.6%) versus placebo (57.9%), no significant differences in changes in PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 or Patient Health Questionnaire-9, and no association between ACE genotype and CAPS-5 improvement on losartan. CONCLUSIONS:At these doses and durations, there was no significant benefit of losartan compared with placebo for the treatment of PTSD. We discuss implications for failure to determine the benefit of a repurposed drug with strong a priori expectations of success based on preclinical and epidemiological data.
PMID: 34275593
ISSN: 1873-2402
CID: 4947782

Posttraumatic Distress Symptoms and Their Response to Treatment in Adults With Prolonged Grief Disorder

Na, Peter J; Adhikari, Samrachana; Szuhany, Kristin L; Chen, Alan Z; Suzuki, Rebecca R; Malgaroli, Matteo; Robinaugh, Donald J; Bui, Eric; Mauro, Christine; Skritskaya, Natalia A; Lebowitz, Barry D; Zisook, Sidney; Reynolds, Charles F; Shear, M Katherine; Simon, Naomi M
OBJECTIVE:Posttraumatic stress disorder and prolonged grief disorder (PGD) arise following major life stressors and may share some overlapping symptomatology. This study aimed to examine the presence and response to treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in bereaved adults with a primary diagnosis of PGD. METHODS:A randomized controlled trial of 395 adults with PGD (defined as an Inventory of Complicated Grief score ≥ 30 plus confirmation on structured clinical interview) randomly assigned participants to either complicated grief treatment (CGT) with citalopram, CGT plus placebo, citalopram, or placebo between March 2010 and September 2014. This secondary analysis examined the presence of PTSS (per the Davidson Trauma Scale) at baseline and change in PTSS with treatment using longitudinal mixed-effects regression and examined the role of violent compared to nonviolent deaths (loss type). RESULTS:High levels of PTSS were present at baseline, regardless of loss type, and were associated with increased functional impairment (P < .001). CGT with placebo demonstrated efficacy for PTSS compared to placebo in both threshold (OR = 2.71; 95% CI, 1.13-6.52; P = .026) and continuous (P < .001; effect size d = 0.47) analyses, and analyses were suggestive of a greater effect for CGT plus citalopram compared to citalopram alone (threshold analysis: OR = 2.84; 95% CI, 1.20-6.70; P = .017; continuous analysis: P = .053; d = 0.25). In contrast, citalopram did not differ from placebo, and CGT plus citalopram did not differ from CGT plus placebo. CONCLUSIONS:Bereavement-related PTSS are common in bereaved adults with PGD in the context of both violent and nonviolent death and are associated with poorer functioning. CGT shows efficacy for PTSS, while the antidepressant citalopram does not. TRIAL REGISTRATION:: identifier: NCT01179568.
PMID: 34000119
ISSN: 1555-2101
CID: 4876702

Ketamine for PTSD: Well, Isn't That Special [Comment]

Stein, Murray B; Simon, Naomi M
PMID: 33517752
ISSN: 1535-7228
CID: 4791052

Underuse of Behavioral Treatments for Headache: a Narrative Review Examining Societal and Cultural Factors

Langenbahn, Donna; Matsuzawa, Yuka; Lee, Yuen Shan Christine; Fraser, Felicia; Penzien, Donald B; Simon, Naomi M; Lipton, Richard B; Minen, Mia T
Migraine affects over 40 million Americans and is the world's second most disabling condition. As the majority of medical care for migraine occurs in primary care settings, not in neurology nor headache subspecialty practices, healthcare system interventions should focus on primary care. Though there is grade A evidence for behavioral treatment (e.g., biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and relaxation techniques) for migraine, these treatments are underutilized. Behavioral treatments may be a valuable alternative to opioids, which remain widely used for migraine, despite the US opioid epidemic and guidelines that recommend against them. Identifying and removing barriers to the use of headache behavioral therapy could help reduce the disability as well as the personal and social costs of migraine. These techniques will have their greatest impact if offered in primary care settings to the lower socioeconomic status groups at greatest risk for migraine. We review the societal and cultural challenges that impose barriers to optimal use of non-pharmacological treatment services. These barriers include insufficient knowledge of migraine/headache behavioral treatments and insufficient availability of clinicians trained in non-pharmacological treatment delivery; limited access in underserved communities; financial burden; and stigma associated with both headache and mental health diagnoses and treatment. For each barrier, we discuss potential approaches to minimizing its effect and thus enhancing non-pharmacological treatment utilization.Case ExampleA 25-year-old graduate student with a prior history of headaches in college is attending school in the evenings while working a full-time job. Now, his headaches have significant nausea and photophobia. They are twice weekly and are disabling enough that he is unable to complete homework assignments. He does not understand why the headaches occur on Saturdays when he pushes through all week to get through his examinations that take place on Friday evenings. He tried two different migraine preventive medications, but neither led to the 50% reduction in headache days his doctor had hoped for. His doctor had suggested cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) before initiating the medications, but he had been too busy to attend the appointments, and the challenges in finding an in-network provider proved difficult. Now with the worsening headaches, he opted for the CBT and by the fifth week had already noted improvements in his headache frequency and intensity.
PMID: 33527189
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4799612

Efficacy of Yoga vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy vs Stress Education for the Treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Simon, Naomi M; Hofmann, Stefan G; Rosenfield, David; Hoeppner, Susanne S; Hoge, Elizabeth A; Bui, Eric; Khalsa, Sat Bir S
Importance/UNASSIGNED:Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is common, impairing, and undertreated. Although many patients with GAD seek complementary and alternative interventions, including yoga, data supporting yoga's efficacy or how it compares to first-line treatments are lacking. Objectives/UNASSIGNED:To assess whether yoga (Kundalini yoga) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for GAD are each more effective than a control condition (stress education) and whether yoga is noninferior to CBT for the treatment of GAD. Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:For this randomized, 3-arm, controlled, single-blind (masked independent raters) clinical trial, participants were recruited from 2 specialty academic centers starting December 1, 2013, with assessment ending October 25, 2019. Primary analyses, completed by February 12, 2020, included superiority testing of Kundalini yoga and CBT vs stress education and noninferiority testing of Kundalini yoga vs CBT. Interventions/UNASSIGNED:Participants were randomized to Kundalini yoga (n = 93), CBT for GAD (n = 90), or stress education (n = 43), which were each delivered to groups of 4 to 6 participants by 2 instructors during twelve 120-minute sessions with 20 minutes of daily homework. Main Outcomes and Measures/UNASSIGNED:The primary intention-to-treat outcome was acute GAD response (Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale score of much or very much improved) after 12 weeks as assessed by trained independent raters. Results/UNASSIGNED:Of 538 participants who provided consent and were evaluated, 226 (mean [SD] age, 33.4 [13.5] years; 158 [69.9%] female) with a primary diagnosis of GAD were included in the trial. A total of 155 participants (68.6%) completed the posttreatment assessment. Completion rates did not differ (Kundalini yoga, 60 [64.5%]; CBT, 67 [74.4%]; and stress education, 28 [65.1%]: χ2 = 2.39, df = 2, P = .30). Response rates were higher in the Kundalini yoga group (54.2%) than in the stress education group (33.%) (odds ratio [OR], 2.46 [95% CI, 1.12-5.42]; P = .03; number needed to treat, 4.59 [95% CI, 2.52-46.19]) and in the CBT group (70.8%) compared with the stress education group (33.0%) (OR, 5.00 [95% CI, 2.12-11.82]; P < .001; number needed to treat, 2.62 [95% CI, 1.91-5.68]). However, the noninferiority test did not find Kundalini yoga to be as effective as CBT (difference, 16.6%; P = .42 for noninferiority). Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:In this trial, Kundalini yoga was efficacious for GAD, but the results support CBT remaining first-line treatment. Trial Registration/ Identifier: NCT01912287.
PMID: 32805013
ISSN: 2168-6238
CID: 4614372

The pain of grief: Exploring the concept of psychological pain and its relation to complicated grief, depression, and risk for suicide in bereaved adults

Frumkin, Madelyn R; Robinaugh, Donald J; LeBlanc, Nicole J; Ahmad, Zeba; Bui, Eric; Nock, Matthew K; Simon, Naomi M; McNally, Richard J
OBJECTIVE:Emotional or psychological pain is a core symptom of complicated grief (CG), yet its correlates are largely unexamined among bereaved individuals. METHOD/METHODS:Bereaved adults (N = 135) completed self-reports regarding psychological pain, CG, depression, and suicidality. We assessed correlations among these variables and tested whether psychological pain was elevated among individuals with CG and individuals with current or past suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Using logistic regression, we also assessed psychological pain, depression, and CG symptom severity as predictors of suicide risk. RESULTS:Psychological pain was strongly associated with both CG and depression severity and was elevated among subjects reporting current or past suicidality. CG and depression were not statistically significant predictors of suicidal ideation after accounting for the effects of psychological pain. CONCLUSIONS:Psychological pain is strongly associated with bereavement-related psychopathology and warrants further investigation in studies examining the nature and treatment of CG.
PMID: 32662088
ISSN: 1097-4679
CID: 4539292

Anhedonia is central for the association between quality of life, metacognition, sleep, and affective symptoms in generalized anxiety disorder: A complex network analysis

Barthel, Abigail L; Pinaire, Megan A; Curtiss, Joshua E; Baker, Amanda W; Brown, Mackenzie L; Hoeppner, Susanne S; Bui, Eric; Simon, Naomi M; Hofmann, Stefan G
BACKGROUND:Poor quality of life, sleep problems, anhedonia, and negative metacognitions are common in anxiety and depression. To examine the nature of the relationship between these features and the role of metacognitions, anhedonia, and quality of life in anxiety and depression, we conducted a complex network analysis with items of self-report measures assessing quality of life, sleep, negative thinking styles, anxiety, and depression. METHODS:Participants were 226 treatment seeking individuals with a primary DSM-5 diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. Node centrality, strength, expected influence, community, and bridge estimation were calculated using partial correlation coefficients and glasso regularization. RESULTS:Results revealed that anhedonia was the most central node followed by quality of life nodes. Moreover, anhedonia exhibited the highest strength and expected influence, which were both stable, reliable metrics within the network. Metacognitions were not central nodes in the network, but were strong bridge symptoms between communities. LIMITATIONS/CONCLUSIONS:The results are limited by the cross-sectional nature of the data and the administration of self-report scales at one time-point, despite different rating anchors. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:These findings suggest that anhedonia is a crucial element for the association between quality of life, sleep problems, and negative cognitions.
PMID: 33065810
ISSN: 1573-2517
CID: 4637192

Mental Health Disorders Related to COVID-19-Related Deaths

Simon, Naomi M; Saxe, Glenn N; Marmar, Charles R
PMID: 33044510
ISSN: 1538-3598
CID: 4632452