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Cognitive behavioural therapy plus medical management reduced depression and joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis

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QUESTION: Does the addition of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to medical management relieve symptoms and reduce disability and psychological distress in patients with recent onset rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, blinded (outcome assessor), controlled trial with 6 months of follow up.


Rheumatology clinics at 3 hospitals in or near London, UK.


56 patients who were 18–75 years of age, had had definite or classic RA for <2 years, and tested seropositive for RA. Exclusion criteria were history of mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse, or insufficient fluency in English. Follow up was 80% (mean age 55 y, 71% women, mean …

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  • * Information provided by author.

  • Source of funding: North Thames Regional Research and Development Programme.

  • For correspondence: Dr L Sharpe, Department of Psychology, Clinical Studies Unit F12, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia. Fax +61 2 9351 7328.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Mental Health.