Compassion Therapy Combined with Standard Treatment Seems to Help Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Suggests

Compassion Therapy Combined with Standard Treatment Seems to Help Fibromyalgia Symptoms, Study Suggests
Attachment-based compassion therapy (ABCT) combined with regular fibromyalgia management treatment seems more effective in reducing symptoms than relaxation techniques and usual treatment, according to a small clinical trial. The discovery was made by the Spain-based Primary Care Prevention and Health Promotion Research Network (redIAPP). The study, "Efficacy of 'Attachment-Based Compassion Therapy' in the Treatment of Fibromyalgia: A Randomized Controlled Trial," was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. Due to the complex nature of fibromyalgia, successful treatment normally requires addressing the disease-related behavioral, cognitive, and affective processes, including pain, anxiety and depression. ABCT is based on the attachment theory. It involves mindfulness training and exercising compassion by the practice of receiving and offering compassion to friends, "problematic" people, unknown people, and oneself. “Several intervention protocols based on compassion have been described and used to treat psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression, with promising benefits. However, to date, such approaches have not been used to treat [fibromyalgia]," scientists said. Researchers assessed the efficacy of attachment-based compassion therapy on the general function of fibromyalgia patients. As a secondary aim, they also evaluated the effect of this non-pharmacological therapy on the psychological (pain, depression, anxiety) features of the disease. The study (
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