Thought field therapy for patients with anxiety disorders
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AbstractThought Field Therapy (TFT) is in widespread use, but its efficacy has been studied only to a small extent. Therefore, there is a need for randomized controlled studies that examine whether TFT yields favorable results for patients with psychiatric illnesses. Since TFT is often applied for anxiety disorders, such disorders were chosen as the object for this thesis. Besides, anxiety disorders are common and make many people suffer, and unfortunately, there are not enough therapists available. The specific research questions were: Does TFT show effects for patients with anxiety disorders (Paper 1)? For patients with agoraphobia, what is the effect of TFT compared to that of cognitive therapy (CT) and a wait-list condition (Paper 2)? Can we identify predictors of treatment outcome in the sample as a whole, and can we find moderators of the treatment outcome of CT relative to that of TFT (Paper 3)? This thesis consists of two randomized, controlled trials (RCTs). The first trial compared TFT to wait-list for 45 patients with one or more anxiety disorders. The second trial compared TFT to both wait-list and Cognitive therapy (CT) for 72 patients with severe agoraphobia. Both trials included twelve months follow up assessments. The main findings of this thesis are: For patients with anxiety disorders TFT significantly reduced anxiety symptoms compared to wait-list participants, and the beneficial effects of TFT remained at three- and 12-month follow-up for the sample as a whole. TFT showed beneficial effects for agoraphobia both comparing pre-post treatment and pretreatment to 12-month follow-up. We did not find any significantly different results of TFT compared to CT, although there was a trend towards better outcomes for CT on all measures except avoidance and anxiety comparing pretreatment to 12-month follow-up. We identified being cohabitant/married and current depressive disorder as positive and negative predictors respectively and as moderators of the outcome of treatment modalities for agoraphobia.
List of papers
|Paper 1 Irgens A, Dammen T, Nysæter TE, Hoffart A. Thought Field Therapy (TFT) as a treatment for anxiety symptoms: A randomized controlled trial. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing 2012; 8:331-8. The paper is not available in DUO due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2012.08.002|
|Paper 2 Irgens A, Hoffart A, Nysæter TE, Haaland VØ, Borge FM, Pripp AH, Martinsen EW, Dammen T. Thought Field Therapy compared to Cognitive Therapy and wait-list for agoraphobia: A randomized, controlled study with a 12-month follow-up. Frontiers in Psychology 2017; 8: 1027. The paper is available in DUO: http://hdl.handle.net/10852/61016|
|Paper 3 Irgens A, Hoffart A, Moum T, Udal AH, Nysæter TE, Pripp AH, Dammen T. Prediction and Moderation of Outcome in Cognitive-Behavioral and Thought- Field Therapy for Agoraphobia. Submitted. To be published. The paper is not available in DUO awaiting publishing.|