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Impact of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Via Mail for Cessation of Benzodiazepine Use: A Series of Case Reports

  • Jannette M. Parr (a1), David J. Kavanagh (a2), Ross McD. Young (a3), Barbara Stubbs (a4) and Nick Bradizza (a4)...

Abstract

Benzodiazepines are widely prescribed to manage sleep disorders, anxiety and muscular tension. While providing short-term relief, continued use induces tolerance and withdrawal, and in older users, increases the risk of falls. However, long-term prescription remains common, and effective interventions are not widely available. This study developed a self-managed cognitive behaviour therapy package for cessation of benzodiazepine use delivered to participants via mail (M-CBT) and trialled its effectiveness as an adjunct to a general practitioner (GP)-managed dose reduction schedule. In the pilot trial, participants were randomly assigned to GP management with immediate or delayed M-CBT. Significant recruitment and engagement problems were experienced, and only three participants were allocated to each condition. After immediate M-CBT, two participants ceased use, while none receiving delayed treatment reduced daily intake by more than 50%. Across the sample, doses at 12 months remained significantly lower than baseline, and qualitative feedback from participants was positive. While M-CBT may have promise, improved engagement of GPs and participants is needed for this approach to substantially impact on community-wide benzodiazepine use.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Professor David Kavanagh, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane QLD 4001, Australia. Email: david.kavanagh@qut.edu.au

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Impact of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Via Mail for Cessation of Benzodiazepine Use: A Series of Case Reports

  • Jannette M. Parr (a1), David J. Kavanagh (a2), Ross McD. Young (a3), Barbara Stubbs (a4) and Nick Bradizza (a4)...

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