Psychological therapies for sickle cell disease and pain.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;2:CD001916
Authors: Anie KA, Green J
BACKGROUND: Sickle cell disease comprises a group of genetic blood disorders. It occurs when the sickle haemoglobin gene is inherited from both parents. The effects of the condition are: varying degrees of anaemia which, if severe, can reduce mobility; a tendency for small blood capillaries to become blocked causing pain in muscle and bone commonly known as 'crises'; damage to major organs such as the spleen, liver, kidneys, and lungs; and increased vulnerability to severe infections. There are both medical and non-medical complications, and treatment is usually symptomatic and palliative in nature. Psychological interventions for individuals with sickle cell disease might complement current medical treatment, and studies of their efficacy have yielded encouraging results.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the evidence that psychological interventions improve the ability of people with sickle cell disease to cope with their condition.
SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and the Internet, handsearches of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings.Date of the most recent search of the Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register: 28 July 2011.
SELECTION CRITERIA: All randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing psychological interventions with no (psychological) intervention in people with sickle cell disease.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Both authors independently extracted data and assessed the risk of bias of the included studies.
MAIN RESULTS: Eleven studies were identified in the searches and six of these were eligible for inclusion in the review. Four studies, involving 223 participants, provided data for analysis. One study showed that cognitive behaviour therapy significantly reduced the affective component of pain, mean difference -3.00 (95% confidence interval -4.63 to -1.37), but not the sensory component, mean difference 0.00 (95% confidence interval -9.39 to 9.39). One study of family psycho-education was not associated with a reduction in depression. Another study evaluating cognitive behavioural therapy had inconclusive results for the assessment of coping strategies, and showed no difference between groups assessed on health service utilisation.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Evidence for the efficacy of psychological therapies in sickle cell disease is currently limited. This systematic review has clearly identified the need for well-designed, adequately-powered, multicentre randomised controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of specific interventions in sickle cell disease.
PMID: 22336781 [PubMed - in process]